Support for schools

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about the course (programming for teachers):

Q: I don't know anything about programming, is this course ok for me?

A: Yes, absolutely. It assumes no background knowledge and starts from scratch.

Q: How hard is it? How much time will it take?

A: Programming is an odd subject. There can be a factor of 10 in how long it takes people to pick it up. There is a factor of about 20 in the "productivity" of programmers in the workforce. More than any other subject I am aware of in the educational literature, the outcomes for learning programming vary over a big range. So it's hard to say! We suggest an absolute minimum of 3 hours a week (1 to watch the video, 2 to work on stuff). Ideally 5 hours a week or more, but if you get stuck there really is no upper limit to the time that can go in to this...

Q: Can I work at my own pace? When are the tutorials?

A: The course is self-paced, based on 13 video lectures, each one with exercises. You can watch the videos and do the work in your own time (as long as you finish - complete all the exercises - by the listed end date). Help is via online forum discussion.  Hopefully you will all help each other out, but Karen and I will also be helping out via the forums. So there are no scheduled events of any kind, everything is flexible.

Feedback from the teachers who took this course in 2014

A random selection of the feedback we received!

The course was incredibly useful as at the start (before getting the book) I could not program in Python and had zero confidence. Going through the process has enabled me to be confident about teaching Python.

The workload was about right — there was enough work set to keep one busy but not too busy. It was enjoyable, informative and exactly what is needed by a year 12 teacher.

Very, very useful. I allowed my level 1 students to program in python rather than scratch and I sounded as if I knew what I was talking about! I was able to identify errors and suggest modular programming

Made it through – did all assignments – found a couple very challenging but really enjoyed the learning. The workload was horrendous! It took over the little bit of spare time I have in my life.

The workload was intense especially the assignments. I put my non-school life on hold for 3 month and did not have much in the way of holidays or weekends...

Sadly not useful. I think it was too hard and complex and off putting to my students.

This course was absolutely invaluable to my skills and knowledge of Python programming and it has already impacted the way I teach, my confidence in answering student’s questions and my ability to mark accurately.