eBeckett: Using Samuel Beckett to teach Computing Concepts

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eBeckett: Using Samuel Beckett to teach Computing Concepts

  1. 1. eBeckett: Using The Work Of Samuel Beckett To Teach Fundamental Computing Concepts Damian Gordon
  2. 2. Motivation <ul><li>Learning to program can initially be very difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Two barriers to learning this skill are; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the abstract nature of programming, concepts such as variables, data types, arrays, etc. have no real world counterparts, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>programming requires an exactness of specification that contrasts strongly with the flexible nature of the English language. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Teaching by Analogy
  4. 4. So… <ul><li>To understand how to program, you need to know how a computer computes… </li></ul>
  5. 5. So… <ul><li>To understand how to program, you need to know how a computer computes… </li></ul><ul><li>von Neumann Architecture : This means that they execute programs by accessing both instructions and data on the same storage device, which makes the computer a very flexible device. </li></ul>
  6. 6. So… <ul><li>To understand how to program, you need to know how a computer computes… </li></ul><ul><li>von Neumann Architecture : This means that they execute programs by accessing both instructions and data on the same storage device, which makes the computer a very flexible device. </li></ul><ul><li>The computer performs the following sequence of steps; </li></ul><ul><li>Fetch the next instruction from memory at the address in the program counter </li></ul><ul><li>Decode the instruction using the control unit </li></ul><ul><li>Increment the program counter </li></ul><ul><li>The control unit commands the rest of the computer to execute the instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Go to step 1 </li></ul>
  7. 7. So… <ul><li>To understand how to program, you need to know how a computer computes… </li></ul><ul><li>von Neumann Architecture : This means that they execute programs by accessing both instructions and data on the same storage device, which makes the computer a very flexible device. </li></ul><ul><li>The computer performs the following sequence of steps; </li></ul><ul><li>Fetch the next instruction from memory at the address in the program counter </li></ul><ul><li>Decode the instruction using the control unit </li></ul><ul><li>Increment the program counter </li></ul><ul><li>The control unit commands the rest of the computer to execute the instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Go to step 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Fetch-Decode-Execute (FDE) cycle. </li></ul>
  8. 8. But… <ul><li>How do we explain all this to the students? </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>We say that there’s a little man computer inside it ;-) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Cartesian Theatre
  11. 11. Cartesian Theatre
  12. 12. Cartesian Theatre of the Absurd
  13. 13. Beckett's most perfect piece of writing for the theatre Krapp’s Last Tape
  14. 15. Krapp’s Last Tape: An Extended Analogy <ul><ul><li>Little Man Computer Krapp </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the LMC room Krapp's Den </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the stored information Krapp's Tapes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The analogy of the LMC paradigm becomes the extended analogy of &quot;Krapp's Last Tape&quot; which will hopefully be more dramatic and memorable for the students. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Krapp’s Last Tape: An Extended Analogy <ul><ul><li>Student’s required to undertakes exercises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>based on KLT and … </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Nexus Model of Learning Styles
  17. 18. Nexus Model of Learning Styles
  18. 19. Some Feedback <ul><li>&quot;Good practice for understanding specifications“ </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;It was a bit of a laugh and brought the class together“ </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;It made me think outside the box&quot; </li></ul>
  19. 20. Some Results
  20. 21. Some Results
  21. 22. Some Results
  22. 23. Some Results
  23. 24. Idea’s Encountered <ul><li>Stored Program </li></ul><ul><li>Indirection (pointers) </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of complex requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Serle’s Chinese </li></ul><ul><li>Room Problem </li></ul>

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