Archive

Archive for the ‘University of the People’ Category

Learning Journal Entry – Fundamentals of Programming

February 13, 2016 Leave a comment

I have decide to use one of my learning journal entries as a blog post. For My course Fundamentals of Programming at University of the People, I am required to do a learning journal. Even though it is required, I think it is a good idea regardless. The learning journal provides an opportunity to write about a variety of related topics to the course content and learning process.  I have tried to keep the tone a little informal and reflective on the process and topic.

My week three learning journal entry will touch on a few different topics. The first is the graded quiz. It was definitely a little tougher than I would have expected. I did okay, scoring a 92% not my best work, but a reminder to study and keep up with everything. I found it particularly challenging given the time constraints. I expect to be more prepared for the next quiz. To accomplish this, I intend to spend a little more time reviewing the non-graded quizzes.

Second, I am currently working (procrastinating) on the second programming assignment. I downloaded and installed it with the intention of using it for the assignment. Opening the program and playing around with it, I found myself becoming obsessed with lining up shapes, boxes, and more concerned with formatting and appearance. While having the flowchart looking visual appealing or at least professional, it should not take away from the ideas. I would prefer to spend time thinking about the code, how it might work, and not whether my boxes are perfectly lined-up. I still have not decided if I am going to use pseudo code or the flow chart. I think it is just easier to user pen and paper or a white board. I am leaning towards using the flow chart.

I think spending some time thinking about the code and the steps that need to be done is very a good idea. Obviously, it can be helpful for even the longer exercises. I am slowly coming to the realization that coding/programming is not just something that happens at a keyboard, but also on paper, using DIA, or a whiteboard. Preparing to code is equally as important as what happens at the keyboard. Again, I think there is a very strong parallel to writing. One simply does not sit down and compose a course paper or a Master’s thesis. It takes some forethought and planning. It may not always be apparent, but even with my learning journal entries, I brainstorm a few ideas and notes about things.

Thus far, I have enjoying the class and find the topic interesting. Concurrently, I am also taking Programming for Everyone at Coursera. I believe (especially for beginners) having as much exposure to the language and programming is a necessity for becoming proficient. I call it the “ABC Method,” “Always Be Coding.” While it is important to understand the logic and concepts, it is also important to be able to understand the syntax and be able to write simple “if/elif/else” statements without looking it up. I think for beginners (this holds true different areas) it is imperative learn and over-learn the fundamentals. Fundamentals provide a foundation for advanced concepts and ideas. One has to know how to compose a sentence before they can write a novel.

A brief thought on Writing

December 20, 2015 Leave a comment

….Sometimes “done” now is better than “perfect” but never completed.

Back on Track!

December 16, 2015 Leave a comment

I got off-track with my courses at University of the People (UofP). Not hard to do. A few things happened – without consistent internet over Thanksgiving, 2 birthdays, and the beginning transition of another life changing event (Not ready to provide details).

Easy to get off-track. Got back on and recommitted myself. I think it is very important to continually recommit. I spent a few hours working on posts and writing last night and intend to do so tonight again.

Learning is not too hard, life getting in the way doesn’t make it too easy though. If something is easy, then everyone would do it.

So, I am recommitting to my coursework and pursuit of programming, technology, and information technology. Done.

Time to work on posts.

University of the People – Week 1.5

November 22, 2015 Leave a comment

So, I am a week and a half into it. For the most part, I have enjoyed the courses so far.

A few reflections:

  • I can see how people have difficulty managing time (especially working full-time and having other commitments). There just isn’t time to spend (waste) deliberating a forum post or learning journal entry. Important to get the outline of what you want to write, write, review/proof, and post.  I can’t imagine procrastination is rewarded.
  • If the concept is not clear in your head, it probably won’t come be clear on paper, forum post, blog post, or journal entry.
  • Maybe online learning is not for me. I think everyone goes through this at some point.
  • Be efficient.

I think I see a theme emerging – work efficiently and effectively. The same can be said for most things like work, managing projects, and online learning.