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move challenges into the episode instead of leaving them at the end #637
I'm preparing to teach this for the first time, and I keep "coming up with great ideas for a challenge" only to find that they're clumped at the end (that I've done this more than once is shame on me ;) of course). I don't know if this is deliberately following a different model of teach-test or if it's the result of a migrations?
The challenges already there are smart, and appear tailored to certain concepts, it would be nice to move them alongside, instead of every instructor doing it themselves independently
Of course :)
So for example, in this episode: http://swcarpentry.github.io/shell-novice/04-pipefilter/, except for "Using Wildcards", all of the challenges are at the end of the episode. But the "Pipe Construction" challenge is 7th of 11 in a set of challenges that come immediately one after another, whereas it would make a great "idea reinforcer" if it came immediately after "$ wc -l *.pdb | sort -n | head -n 1" where we first see the full power of pipes revealed.
That's actually how the challenges were laid out in previous versions of the lesson (i.e., interspersed with the text).
I think the rationale for re-organizing was that the lesson is broken up into small enough teachable chunks (episodes) so that they can be taught in a continuous live coding session, after which learners would work on challenges to reinforce what they have learned.
I agree this is a problem because each "episode" (in the shell-novice lesson, at least) takes far too much time to cover.
referenced this issue
Oct 20, 2017
The Lesson Infrastructure Subcommittee is meeting on the 16th and I will be bringing this up there. Certainly the individual lessons (such as shell) can move forward on this without waiting for a decision to be made at the lesson infrastructure level, but last time this came up there was conversation that a decision at that level would help motivate these changes at the individual lesson levels.
For comparison, Data Carpentry lessons and the Carpentry instructor training curriculum are already organized with interspersed exercises and this seems to work really well.
added a commit
Nov 1, 2017
As an update, the Lesson Infrastructure Subcommittee met on Nov 16 and concurred with the sentiment on this thread that it makes sense to move the exercises from the end of each episode into the relevant parts of the episode so that instructors know at which points it makes sense to use each exercise. I volunteered to go through the Git, Python, and this lesson to submit PRs for moving each of the exercises. I'll put in separate PRs for each exercise so that they're easier to review. Thanks again for raising this issue @mfoos!