The resources here are intended to help other people build from our
The documents you can find here are all available as
a 1999 Technical report which summarises much of our
experiences over the years of the 1996 trial, available as
postscript and pdf.
and for the
submitted and longish versions of the journal paper
which appeared in Computer Science Education 10(2), 2000,
We produce a resource book for students for each semester of the
course. I have written the semester 1 book from 1998--2000.
It is largely independent of programming language (which is just
as well because we are about to move from teaching an elegant, clean
beginner's object-oriented language with an excellent
environment, extremely clean object model, simple syntax, some
support for correctness to Java).
You might be interested in 1999 and 2000 versions -- even after
a trial and three years experience, you will see some important
changes in the assessment criteria and overall assessment as
well as several of the detailed teaching resources.
(We are still learning.)
2000_student_resource.pdf (216599 bytes)
2000_student_resource.ps (345499 bytes)
Even reading the above, you will have trouble working out what
happens in the classroom.
The following collection of documents should help with that.
It is the scripts that I have written for each week of semester
When reading them, note that of the 30 or so tutors in the
course, over 20 are honours (4th year) students, most of
whom have never taught before.
Their feedback indicates that these notes are really helpful to
I revise them each week as the course runs, so that I can adapt
to what is actually happening in the class. The ones above the
blank line are 2000 versions - those below are 1999 versions.
3_class_ps (and an additional page - 3_task_page.cgi)
In case you think that the average academic department will leap
at radical change to PBL, the following report should give you
just a hint of what was needed to make the move.
It is a report to the Computer Science Department Teaching
That committee set 10 questions which were to be answered before
the decision would be made to move to PBL.
Many come from the results of the first semester of the 1996
That trial was an invaluable foundation for the move.
It gave some hard data to point out that students learn as
much of the old technical and theory skills as in a conventional
style class - this in a situation where the main instrument of
comparison was an exam written by lecturers of the conventional-style
It also gave data that students gained many other skills
and had a much more positive view of their learning experiences
and their own problem solving ability (although these affective
aspects are not in this report as they were not ready in time -
they are summarised in the Tech Report above.)
The whole of this directory is available as a gzipped tar file