programming skills and IQ tests..

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
6 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

programming skills and IQ tests..

Jurgis Pralgauskis-3
Hello,

I think one of best ways to teach programming is with examples (of
course with a bit of theory explanation).
I'd like to test my students' general ability to undersnand examples.
Because I am confused, is it my fault or their laziness, or sth else,
that some of them (nearly 30%) understnand nearly nothig what they were taught.

Main question of email:
Does anyone know freely distributable DB of such IQ quiz questions --
preferrably mostly graphical, like
http://iq-test.co.uk/iq-test/ or so

I think it could come in handy for others (mathematics here as well)...

I also hope, one can  train the attention/concentration with IQ tests
-- which is verty important skill in understanding examples.


Thanks in advance
--
Jurgis Pralgauskis
Don't worry, be happy and make things better ;)
_______________________________________________
Edu-sig mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edu-sig
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: programming skills and IQ tests..

Jeremy Gray-2
Hi Jurgis,

being edu-sig, I'll send this to the list and not just you personally, despite it having somewhat low actual python content.

I teach at grad and undergrad level, and do research into individual differences in self-control, and sometimes use IQ tests (see http://www.yale.edu/scan/) python is pretty useful in the lab, especially PsychoPy.

I'd like to test my students' general ability to undersnand examples.
Because I am confused, is it my fault or their laziness, or sth else,
that some of them (nearly 30%) understnand nearly nothig what they were taught.

rather than to get into assessing and interpreting IQ-ish scores, I think you'd be much better off asking other teachers / instructors for advice on how to get through to those 30%. from what you are saying, the real problem you want to solve is how to get through to those students, right? maybe a mentor teacher can sit in and observe you and the class and offer suggestions? or ask someone who taught the course previously what examples they used, and how the course went? maybe you could ask students for anonymous feedback after each class one what was really clear and what was really unclear. (how useful this might depend on the age group.) you might ask about whether students can see well enough, hear well enough, and so on.

it sounds like you are hoping to tease apart motivation from ability, which is not a trivial thing to do. for this, giving students problems to do in class is unlikely to be informative: its the same class (with the same social setting including distractions, history of expectations, etc), the same time of day (fatigue, etc). its not just as simple as giving a page of problems out, and getting a score. once it become "IQ" there's an implicit threat of revealing that a given student is either lazy or incompetent, so some will become nervous and do poorly as a result. and there's what's called stereotype threat, which is the fear of confirming a negative stereotype about one's racial or ethnic group. its basically a way of eliciting anxiety that interferes with performance, and everyone is susceptible to it (including white males in the context of being compared to Asian males on a math-y test). so IQ: its better not to go there if you don't have to. and the real problem is getting through to that 30%, not quantifying their ability.

if you still want to go the IQ route, out of personal curiosity or whatever, you would be better off if you can obtain student scores on a standardized test that someone else has already administered, on which the student was personally invested in doing well, and took under optimal conditions (low distraction, etc). if you are in a school setting, maybe there's a way to work with the administration to get standardized test scores? if these are college level, SAT scores work surprisingly well as a measure of general cognitive ability (you can convert one into the other with pretty high accuracy, for individual people).

or perhaps down the road we could collaborate on a research project :o) I'm only half-kidding. there would have to be a scientific question, not just an assessment of students in a class.
 
Main question of email:
Does anyone know freely distributable DB of such IQ quiz questions --
preferrably mostly graphical, like
http://iq-test.co.uk/iq-test/ or so

sorry, I don't know of any but I've toyed with the idea of developing a battery of mini-tasks for this. there are a number of pretty creative, and non-threatening tasks out there that correlate to some degree with IQ. reaction time does, for example. if we got enough of such tasks, implemented as mini-games in python, ... could be interesting.
 
I think it could come in handy for others (mathematics here as well)...
I also hope, one can  train the attention/concentration with IQ tests
-- which is verty important skill in understanding examples.

yes, its possible to train attention / concentration to some degree, hard, but possible. people in my field talk about "working memory training" (for which the wikipedia page is pretty bad and out of date). the most interesting study I've seen is by Jaeggi et al, available free, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18443283  (or pdf: http://www.pnas.org/content/105/19/6791.full.pdf+html)

best regards,

--Jeremy

_______________________________________________
Edu-sig mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edu-sig
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: programming skills and IQ tests..

kirby urner-4
In reply to this post by Jurgis Pralgauskis-3
On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 2:08 PM, Jurgis Pralgauskis
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I think one of best ways to teach programming is with examples (of
> course with a bit of theory explanation).
> I'd like to test my students' general ability to undersnand examples.
> Because I am confused, is it my fault or their laziness, or sth else,
> that some of them (nearly 30%) understnand nearly nothig what they were taught.
>

Reconcile yourself to a bell curve response (including to IQ tests)
and don't berate students in the lower 30%, as you yourself are
in the lower 30% on other axes of measure (so many types of IQ).
We all fall short, in one dimension or another.  Python and/or whatever
is not for everyone, CP4E notwithstanding.  The goal is to provide
ample opportunity, not insist that everyone "get it" (whatever that
means).  There's a difference between being friendly and insisting
on being a friend.

Kirby
_______________________________________________
Edu-sig mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edu-sig
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: programming skills and IQ tests..

punch-2
In reply to this post by Jurgis Pralgauskis-3
There are a number of papers on the topic of measuring programmer
aptitude. In general, I would strongly recommend looking through the
Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG, http://www.ppig.org).

One paper in particular attracted a lot of attention about 4 years ago:
"Testing Programmer Aptitude"
(http://www.ppig.org/papers/18th-dehnadi.pdf). It was controversial at
the time but was followed up sometime later. Have a look at the author's
web page: Saeed Dehnadi
(http://www.eis.mdx.ac.uk/research/PhDArea/saeed/) for his followups

Another article that tries to measure aptitude is Jeff Kramer's article
on abstraction (in the Piaget sense) as a measure.
(http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.120.6776&rep=rep1&type=pdf)
though see the following for a, kind of, rebuttal
(http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1138430).

        >>>bill<<<



Jurgis Pralgauskis wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I think one of best ways to teach programming is with examples (of
> course with a bit of theory explanation).
> I'd like to test my students' general ability to undersnand examples.
> Because I am confused, is it my fault or their laziness, or sth else,
> that some of them (nearly 30%) understnand nearly nothig what they were taught.
>
> Main question of email:
> Does anyone know freely distributable DB of such IQ quiz questions --
> preferrably mostly graphical, like
> http://iq-test.co.uk/iq-test/ or so
>
> I think it could come in handy for others (mathematics here as well)...
>
> I also hope, one can  train the attention/concentration with IQ tests
> -- which is verty important skill in understanding examples.
>
>
> Thanks in advance
>  
_______________________________________________
Edu-sig mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edu-sig
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: programming skills and IQ tests..

Andy Judkis
In reply to this post by Jurgis Pralgauskis-3
I think this is a really interesting topic.  I've been teaching a
general "here's how computers work" class to all the 10th graders in my
school for about 6 years now.  Like Jurgis, I find that about 30% of the
kids just don't get it.  I'm just resigned to that, and my goal is to
have them not HATE it, and to have at least an understanding of why
other people like it.

I went to the opera for the first time last week, it was Der Fliegende
Hollander, at the Met.  Over 2 hours without an intermission.  Not my
cup of tea.  At the end of it the woman in front of us was sobbing, I
thought it was tears of relief that it was finally over but my wife says
that she was deeply moved by the story.  Needless to say, I'm not in a
hurry to go back, but even so I'm glad to have gone once.  I think that
programming is like that for some people -- they'll never love it, but
it's still a good thing to have experienced.

Cheers,
Andy
_______________________________________________
Edu-sig mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edu-sig
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: programming skills and IQ tests..

Jurgis Pralgauskis-3
Thanks to all, especially Jeremy.

still now I don't have time to read everything,
but problem is complex, I agree.

as those students seem nearly unable to understand math (so I guess
generally aren't used to problem solving).
and they are ususally quite unpatient..


=====================
I'll explain in more detail:

 this might be the problem of my countries education system...,
(I teach 1 year college students -- and in 3 years they should become
"network admins"...)
and I give them half made mini programs in Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu)
and they are unable to finish them :(

for example, if we have object moving in an inside of rectangle area,
and when it approaches one side of rectangle -- ith should
"teleport/jump" to the opposite site
rectangle is (-200, -150) to (200, 150)

I give one side as example (in Scratch) and they have to finish
if x > 200:
      x = -200

most of 30% "loosers" succseed, (not without help from others).

then I ask, that sides could shrink (and need variables)

right = 200
left = -200
if x > right:
      x = left
      right = right - 40
if x < left:
      x = right
      left = left + 40

and they should finish it for top/bottom
and this is a "damn hard" task... :/

===============

my idea for the next year is to prepair mini tests for students to:

- to practice programming-like problem solving
- to test their level and  to see, what they lack most
- help them make up minds, if they want/dare to have programming



On Fri, May 7, 2010 at 3:59 AM, Andy Judkis <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I think this is a really interesting topic.  I've been teaching a general
> "here's how computers work" class to all the 10th graders in my school for
> about 6 years now.  Like Jurgis, I find that about 30% of the kids just
> don't get it.  I'm just resigned to that, and my goal is to have them not
> HATE it, and to have at least an understanding of why other people like it.



--
Jurgis Pralgauskis
tel: 8-616 77613;
Don't worry, be happy and make things better ;)
http://kompiuterija.pasimokom.lt
_______________________________________________
Edu-sig mailing list
[hidden email]
http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edu-sig