Thursday, March 05, 2009

youtube university

Richard Buckland has published videos (55 of them!) of his introductory course to Computer Science at the University of NSW on youtube

I have just watched his first lecture and it is great - lots of humour, ability to connect to and reassure students and obviously very expert in his subject. The video at the end about the consequences of plagiarism is brilliant (essential albeit grim topic to cover in the first lecture). Here is a Computer Science Department with the ability to make their subject entertaining as well as rigorous.

I googled for Richard's CV and found this inside:
Carrick Teaching Award $25,000 2007 and a citation in 2006:
For inspirational teaching in computer science that rekindles students' childhood love of learning and communicates the joy of creative and rigorous thinking
The scope of the course is described:
This course consists of three strands: programming, systems, and general computer-science literacy.

The programming strand is further divided into two parts. For the first half of the course we cover small scale programming, in the second half we look at how to effectively use teams to produce more substantial software.

In the systems strand we will look at how computers work. Concentrating on microprocessors, memory, and machine code.

In the literacy strand we will look at topics drawn from: computing history, algorithms, WWW programming, ethics and law, cryptography and security, and other topics of general interest.

The strands will be covered in an intermingled fashion.
There is more. From a recent Age article: Uni computer lecturer makes YouTube his classroom:
This year, Buckland is inviting high school students with a strong interest in computing and mathematics to study an advanced first-year university level computing course for free.

With the lectures now published online, the students will be able to do most of their work from home. They will only come to the university one evening a week for a two and a half hour lab and tutorial, where they can ask questions and socialise.

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