Use rotary programming - a variation of pair programming - to give students experience working with lots of different code.

  • As with some other types of pair programming, students are put into pairs and one is assigned to be the Driver (physically interacting with the computer) while the other is assigned to be the Navigator (observing and providing feedback).
  • However, in rotary programming, students do not regularly switch roles. Instead, Navigators periodically rotate to different Drivers around the room.
    • This allows Navigators to experience a great deal of different code produced by different students.
  • To rotary program with your class:
    • Divide the class in half.
      • One half will be Drivers and the other half will be Navigators.
      • It doesn’t matter how students match up into pairs since they’ll be switching partners frequently.
    • After a certain time limit (e.g.,10 minutes) have all the Navigators rotate to the next station (for example, "to the next PC on the left").
    • You can have the whole class rotate as one large group, or set up smaller groups that rotate internally.
      • With smaller groups, Navigators get the chance to see the same code multiple times.
        • This gives the Navigators a valuable opportunity to watch the program evolve; to see the various ways different people changed, fixed, and furthered the code.
    • Note: It’s important that Drivers and Navigators eventually switch roles after a specified period of time (a class period, an hour, etc.).
      • When this happens the old Navigators are now sitting down with the code.
      • The old drivers are now Navigating and rotating around the class.

More about this tip

External Source

Interview with Aaron Cadle