Presentation Makes a Difference

My Waterloo class from the summer semester, Web Programming, is identical in structure to the fall semester. Other the fact that the course is spread out over 15 weeks instead of compressed into ten, there are big differences in how the class is delivered.

For one, the online class was pretty much independent study. If you didn't catch on, the professor was available to answer questions, but you had to know how to describe your problem. For instance, I did an assignment and the code looked right to me. I went through it line by line and could not find the reason why it was not working.

We were not encouraged to use debuggers or workspaces to complete the work, which as a Mac user, may have lead to my frustration with myself. Even though I'd emailed the professor, asked him to look at my code, explained that I was using Firefox, Safari and Chrome to review the code I'd written in text edit, I got an email back that my code looked fine, with no coaching.

Instead, this time around, I've got a professor who is assisted by an expert programmer. They balance each other very well, with the veteran professor guiding the programmer in the ways of teaching, and the programmer providing the technical expertise needed for students to learn JavaScript.

Thanks to the information that has been given, I have tools for Mac that have made things a lot easier. I have to turn in an assignment tomorrow. It's not completely done, but I'm not all that worried about it. It's about 80% done, with an input box left to put in and uploading to the school's website.

I was short of panic attacks in June, because I really thought I'd made the wrong choice in major, especially if I couldn't program web pages. Now? I'm relaxed enough that I'm not stressing about this work, because the knowledge is there and I have the skills. They were there all the time, but I didn't realize it.


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