POSSE application

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These are the application questions for the Professors' Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) program, a faculty development workshop sponsored by Red Hat. For more information on the program as a whole, see http://teachingopensource.org/POSSE; for deadlines and procedures for submitting your application to a particular workshop, see the application instructions. You may also want to read the fine print to see if you are eligible for a course grant.

Writing this application should take you no more than an hour. Really! Write as if you're sending an informal letter to a grad school classmate. We're not looking for polished academic writing, lots of scholarly citations, or impressive resumes. You can read the story behind why we designed the application this way, but the gist of it is that we want to get to know you and what drives you in a classroom. Why do you love teaching? What's this class you'll be teaching next year, and what's your dream for it - what story do you want your students to tell about it after this coming school year, and how can we help you make that story happen?

Please don't be alarmed by the length of these questions. If we've designed them well, writing this application should leave you energized and inspired about all the awesome stuff you're going to do (rather than zombielike after yet another evening reformatting bibliographies so that your paper fits within the conference page limit - we've been there ourselves). If we haven't designed these questions well - if you look at them and feel panic rather than inspiration - please let us know, and we'll fix those questions with you until you are inspired.

If you feel intimidated or stuck about writing this app, try this: grab a fellow professor buddy at lunch sometime and ask them to time you for two minutes as you answer each question. Then write down exactly what you told them. Then send that in. That's it, we promise. Your answers don't even need to be as long as the questions you're answering; we suggest 100-400 words per answer as a rough guide, though that's by no means a hard limit.

Note that your application, except for the parts explicitly marked as "not shared" (which will remain private to the workshop team) will be posted publicly under an open content CC-BY-SA-3.0 license so that open source community members can add suggestions on how they can help you make your ideas into reality. By submitting your application, you consent to these terms.

1. Introductory information

  1. Name: Roselyn Isimeto
  2. Institution: University of Lagos, Nigeria.
  3. Position: Lecturer
  4. Email address (not shared): risimeto@unilag.edu.ng

About your class

2. The basics

  1. Course name: Computer as a problem-solving Tool
  2. Course number (at your institution):C.Sc 100
  3. Term scheduled (for instance, Fall 2011 or Spring 2012): Second semester course that takes place between April and July of each year
  4. Course URL (if applicable - optional)

3. The present

This is a 100 level course taken by the undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science. That is, it is taken by students of seven departments in the Faculty of Science. Last session, there were 449 students who took the course. This session , we are having the course right now and we should have a little above this number.

The objective of this course is to teach students how to use computer as a tool to solve problems with special emphasis on computer programming. This course teaches the fundamentals of programming like: "Problem-Solving Tools: Top down Design, Procedural Abstraction, Data Abstraction"; "Overiview of Programming Languages/ Problem Solving Strategy:Software Development Life-Cycle"; "Role of Algorithms in Problem solving process/Design of Algorithms/ Flowcharts/Hierarchy Charts"; "Fundamentals of Programming (1): Variable/Variable Naming Convention/Datatypes"; "(2) : Operators and Expressions"; "(3):Control Structures"; "Implementation Strategies for Algorithms (1)/ Tools & Technique using modern Programming Language like Microsoft Visual Basic.net(Vb.net)"; "Laboratory Practise Sessions/Debugging Strategies" Above is the overview of the course contents for this course. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the basic skills and fundamentals of programming, so that the students can appreciate how softwares are developed from the building blocks of programme code. Hence, students are given assignments in the laboratory and they write thier codes. I stay with them in the lab and l help them with debugging errors in their codes. This is really challenging because l have to move around from student to student correcting their errors. After some explanation to them, the students now learn how to correct the errors themselves.

With respect to the materials for the course, l recommend textbook for them and at times, l make extraits copies from certain books l find helpful and give to them. Also, l give them links to some sites l find useful. Naturally, students dont like programming, but l make it interesting by cracking codes with them and they enjoy the class. l involve the students and make it interactive. This is because l could call any student to come to the board to solve a given problem. Due to this my attitude, they pay attention.

Honesting speaking, l find it fulfilling now that my students that l started teaching programming from scratch last year when they were in first year, are now in second year, and l tell you they are doing real good. They tell me, ma (a form of respect for madam used locally in Nigeria), you really taught us last year in your Csc 100 class and that has helped us understand programming in other languages: java, python, etc. Sometimes, i receive phonecalls from my students ; saying thank you , madam. With such encouraging words, l say l am going to continue helping students learn more in my classes beacuse l teach other courses like :

FSc 103: Introductory Computer Science.
GST 214: Basic Computer studies
Csc 207: Introduction to Information Processing
Csc 203: Foundations of Sequential Programming/ Computer Architecture
Apart from CSc 100: Computer as a Problem-Solving tool/ Introduction to Programming

4. The future

Though, l just joined my university last year 2010, l would say the department was complaining about runnig away from programming. l heard my other colleagues saying the students dont like programming and l also observed this problem. Hence, when l was asked to take this introductory programming course, l had to make sure students enjoyed the class, so they would develop the needed programming skills. To this end, l came up with an interactive methodology in which l set up two tutorial classes with each class headed by 3 best students selected from the class. These Leading best students will spend time with the other students in the tutorial class re-explaining the concepts to them, and helping them debug their codes. We had twice a week class for one month. By the end of it all, most of the students were able to grasp the basics of our class work. It was such a successful class that we have formed a club from his class called : Software Development Club. This students from this club will go places in the future; l see them representing our school in competiotions that will take place in the future. In deed, l would say if l do a Flash forward to Summer 2012; my first year students who knew nothing in programming when they joined our university are now doing great. They can code very well because they got the fundamentals correctly from the onset. With this attitude in them, l see our students doing great in future as computer scientist. This is also coupled with the fact that our Head of Department is encouraging we the lecturers to do our best to ensure these students succeed. So, the sky is the limit for students.

With the sort of attitude displayed by this set of students, l will continue to put in my best, to encourage, to teach and show all l know to these students ( current and future students), so that they will be all they wish to be. l will encourage them to think out of the box because l am a highly motivational person and l believe everything is possible if you believe in it enough.

5. Making the future

To make the future happen, l will like my students to be able to handle real-life projects while in school now, so that when they graduate, they will be able to cope with problems in the future and be successful in whatever careers they take . I do not have access to real-world projects. l use examples in textbooks to illustrate or examples l come up with. So l think l would love to have access to your real-world projects. Since, l would love to see my students as students who can think outside the box and solve problems, l would be glad to be part of your workshop so l would have access to your following materials (listed below) . This is because l will expose my students to these materials and it will blow up my students to the next level. l look forward to being part of your programme. l know there is a lot for me to learn from it.

  • A real-world project - you can choose from thousands - for your students to work on
  • Experienced engineers as dedicated project mentors for your students
  • No NDA - everything you do can be used as a public portfolio for you, your students, and your institution
  • Teaching materials to help your students get started on their projects
  • Interactive tutorials for your students and TAs where Red Hat professionals teach the tools and practices that typically confuse newcomers on the job
  • Turnkey infrastructure - ready-to-go build servers, repositories, etc. for hosting student work at no cost or hassle to your IT dept
  • PR - interviews, videos, press releases, etc. for your class and institution throughout the 2011-2012 school year
  • Your class experience - the curriculum, materials, and student work - to be covered in a print book published during the 2012-2013 school year
  • Access to a supportive network of colleagues who have done these types of projects with their students in the past
  • Up to $1600 in course funding for materials, travel, etc.
  • A 2-day workshop to learn the basics of incorporating open source collaboration into your course

6. Private space

 No please.

7. Other

l heard about POSSE from my senior colleague, Prof. Uwadia. My experience with Teaching Open Source community has been beneficial.

That's it - congratulations, you've reached the end of the application! For information on where to send your answers, see the application instructions on the program's main page. Thanks for joining us on the journey.