Amazing tips that programming language tutor should follow for ideal teaching

Sep 23, 2020

Educational psychology opines that the activities of learning and teaching are subject specific.  Learning programming boasts unique set of techniques and challenges. Programming and computing is younger than the traditional science. The programming language tutor must follow these amazing tips for teaching programming to any audience at any level.

There is nothing called ‘Born Programmer’:

There is a belief that some individuals are born programmers while others are not. It is evident from the bimodal distributions of university grades where two types of students are seen- one belongs to the extreme low-graders, and others belong to the high-scorers. This is very wrong because competence at programming in never inherent. Rather, it is a learned skill that must be acquired and refined with constant practice.

Never think some kids won’t never get it:

There are programming language tutors who think that some students can get the programming language well, whereas, others can’t just get it. So, these teachers intentionally invest less in the weaker students. But, here they go wrong. As everyone has unique capabilities of learning things. So, individual students must be provided with discrete tutoring so that all can learn as per their flairs. Opportunity must be given to all equally.

Opt for one-on-one tutoring:

If you choose one-on-one tutoring, you can pay complete attention on each student of yours. As a programming language tutor, you can customize the teaching pattern. Many students will have different problems, and you can solve everyone’s problem through tailored teaching.

Peer instruction is good:

As one-on-one teaching is good to give attention to each student’s flaws and solve it, peer instruction in a large-scale classroom helps students in multiple ways. A common set of questions must be asked to the entire class and ask all to participate in the question and answer session. Command the students to discuss answers among themselves and then finalize the answer. If the students have the correct answer, the programming language tutor can move on to the next question. If the answer is wrong or the students have different conception among themselves, then the tutor must address all the misconceptions before moving on to the next session.

Engage the students in group discussion:

Group discussion helps in improving the understanding of learners as it urges them to elucidate their thinking and bridge the gap in reasoning. You, as a programming tutor must make sure that the entire class has understood the logic and explainations. If some students are still lacking the knowledge, ask others to explain the programming to them. Many times peers become the best teachers. If the students still fail to comprehend the lesson, you enquire them in individual where the exact problem lies.

Programming language tutor can use live coding:

As an instructor, you can create programs right in the front of your students. You will become reactive to various questions of the students. Live coding let the teachers adopt out of the box way to follow the interests of the learners and answer unexpected questions. The students can learn how tutors do programming and correct mistakes.  

Use one language:

Stick to only one language till the students progress enough and can program properly. The learners must be efficient to understand a language with variety of syntax and semantics. Switching from one language to another without erasing the students’ confusion completely will lead to lack of confidence in them.

Students are not experts:

As a programming language tutor, you must not forget that students are not experts. They are learning from you. Their approaches towards a problem is different than that of experts. They still have to remember the syntax, understand how to repeat over a list, and make use of an accumulator variable. Hence, it is very common that the students have to struggle to debug, need more time for thinking about any algorithm, and may make mistakes repeatedly.

Ending with:

Never forget the presence of human element. Try to make the students feel that they can succeed and their existing skills are worthy. Give them the notion that they can be good programmers in future if they keep trying and practicing with dedication.

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes educational content periodically for MyPrivateTutor Singapore and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got more than 5 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO and graphic designing.

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