Today is the start of the fall quarter at DePaul, and I had my first class early this afternoon. The class is the introductory programming course in Python fr novices, something I tend to only teach once a year. It’s the course that was a part of my linked courses learning community, about which I’ve written extensively on this blog (just search “learning community” to find the multitude of posts). This is the first time I’ve taught it in the pandemic-induced online synchronous format, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got beat any expectation I might have had.
The students were incredibly interactive, even on the first day. Although I don’t require it, most students had their camera on which let me see lots of faces. I found an icebreaker that I love (give me a boring fact about you), and it was well worth the 20 minutes we spent on it. (How else would I learn that one of my students likes drinking warm water, another forgot how to whistle, and another is frequently mistaken for being Filipino?) And to top it all off, 30% of the students in my class are women, many of whom were asking questions right off the bat. I’m so excited to spend 11 weeks with these students learning problem solving with Python.