Self-paced in Class

A better way to teach technical skills to a group. post

The vast majority of my students do not fit the stereotype of the Silicon Valley programmer. This is awesome for the class, since we have so many different voices in the room. But it also puts many of my students at risk for stereotype threat, in which students’ performance suffers because they fear their mistakes will be seen as representative of their entire race or gender.

I’d always made detailed, illustrated tutorials for my students anyway. So this time, instead of standing in front of the class and walking the students through the steps as one, I seated the students in groups and instructed each student to go through the tutorial individually.

Students can work at their own pace.

Students can ask each other for help.

The final missing piece was Post-It notes. Every student starts with a green note on her laptop. That means everything’s OK. Run into a problem that they need me for? Swap it out for red. Finished? Swap it out for white.