Illustrate the steps a user-action travels through in the Ruby on Rails framework, from making a request at the browser to returning a response, to help students learn create a meaningful mental model.

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  • Walk through steps and the code using a powerpoint before having students go off to explore the code themselves. Below is a structure for the powerpoint:
    • Start with an overview diagram showing the semantic names for steps.
    • Add the particular files users of the framework read from, and write to, to interface with that step.
      • Now is not the time to explain how the framework works.
    • Then, walk through a specific example with a simple page.
    • Contrast the above example with some small changes made in the user code.
  • Be sure to explain this idea in greater detail:
    • The sequencing of steps and what source code files are read that control those steps.
  • After seeing these examples, have students run the contrasted code it to see what happens instead of showing them.

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Interview with Gregory Nelson.