Methodology

Our students will first become our apprentice. The faculty, will guide the student through the various stages of this apprenticeship. They learn by doing together with continuous feedback which is  the most efficient way for learning.

The focus is on the process rather than on the end product. Motivation and comfort levels have a remarkable effect on learning. Programming exercises given to the student are both motivational as well as catered to the comfort level of the individual student.

A student does not just learn programming. He learns to apply problem solving skills to solve problems.

So how do we apply the process?

The student moves through three stages. He sees an expert modeling a solution in front of him. The expert who is also the faculty, thinks aloud all the time, as he explains the structure he uses and why he has used that structure. Every decision taken by the expert is talked about and merits of that explained and understood.

The student then moves to the second stage where the student does the task and the expert holds his hand. This stage is also popularly called ‘The Scaffolding Stage’. The student discovers solutions to problems with his own problem solving skills. The instructor will help the student if he is unable to find the solution and/or is able to find a solution, but a better solution exists. Learning is most effective when a student is given just enough information that is enough to boost the students’ ability to finish the task. When the student starts to master the task by himself, the scaffolding is slowly dismantled.

The Apprenticeship-based approach to learning programming is advocated also by the Agile and Software Craftsmanship people in the industry. ”Software is a craft that takes years to learn, and more years to master. The only way to properly learn the craft is to be taught at the side of a master”

Educationists call for apprenticeship-type mentoring to the software industry as well, where the recently graduated apprentices would work in a software project context with constant interactive guidance by journeymen and masters.