Intro to Perl

Allison Randal al at
Sat Feb 9 22:41:59 CST 2002

On Fri, Feb 08, 2002 at 12:52:35PM -0800, Curtis Poe wrote:
> Learning Perl would be used because it's fairly straightforward. The curricula could open each
> section by briefly explaining the topic (scalars, arrays, regexes(!)) and then using that to build
> a new part of the BlackJack program. I don't want to commit to teaching them everything, but
> giving them a starting point seems workable.
> Is this too ambitious for an 8 hour seminar? 

For the most part, I'd say you're on target: a little theory, a little
practice and an easy way to review. You may be a little ambitious in the
number of subjects you want to cover though. Consider the fact that
merlyn's Learning Perl course takes a full week of 8 hour days. There's
only so much a brain can absorb in a single 8 hour period.

> Can anyone suggest resources for developing a curriculum? 

You're free to use stuff off of (giving credit where
relevant). The curriculum was designed to stretch over 11 weeks of 2
hour classes, but it would give you a place to start, assignments for
various topics, etc. (The presentation also leaves something to be
desired, but there's some good content.)

> Any common teaching pitfalls that I should be aware of?

Yeah, that guy who talks merely to hear the sound of his own voice.
There's one student like this in every class. :) 

Some things to keep in mind:
- "Free" tends to attract alot of people, you may have trouble
  restricting it to 5 attendees (I get 50 the first week,
  trickling down to a managable 20 by the end).
- Not everyone who comes to a free course will be serious about
  learning, no matter how hard you try to screen them. It works out
  though, because you can focus on the ones who are serious.
- You might want to set up a separate "class" mailing list. It helps
  isolate the newbies from the flamers (or merely intimidating), and
  provides an environment where "there are no stupid questions".

Call it "teaching" or not, but you are opening the door for the curious
to become interested and the interested to become involved. This is the
best task a teacher can hope to accomplish.

Good luck! We can always use "open source" training in open source


"Everything you think you know is wrong." 
   -- Jack L. Chalker, "The Cybernetic Walrus"


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