Methods and techniques in teaching computer science

Method (Greek metodos) – a way, a way to achieve a goal. The teaching method is a way of joint activity of a teacher and students, in which students acquire knowledge, skills and abilities, develop their personal qualities and abilities, form a scientific worldview.

In computer science lessons, working at a computer implies the independence of the student. The task of the teacher is to create a learning situation and manage the cognitive activity of the student in this situation. Therefore, teaching methods are also understood as ways of organizing the cognitive activity of students.

Methods include a variety of techniques that are their constituent parts. Reception enhances the method, increases its effectiveness. Distinguish between methods of teaching and methods of teaching. For example, storytelling is a teaching method; the message of the story plan is a technique that activates the attention of students, stimulating their interest; note-taking of the plan and content of the story is the method of teaching.

Within one method, several techniques can be used. For example, the method is an exploratory laboratory work; teaching methods – demonstration, posing problematic issues; the teaching methods corresponding to them – observation, analysis.

The same techniques can be part of different methods. For example, such methods of activating attention as highlighting the main thing, summarizing what has been said can be used in methods: explanation, conversation, educational discussion.

There is no single list and classification of techniques. But it is possible to indicate logical devices as a separate group.

In traditional teaching, information-developing methods such as explanation, storytelling, and conversation occupy a large place. To consolidate knowledge and improve skills, reproductive methods are used, for example, retelling, performing exercises according to a model, laboratory work according to instructions. However, these methods are more focused on memorization and reproduction of educational material and less on the development of creative thinking, the activation of independent cognitive activity. Therefore, in the learning process, a gradual transition is made from traditional teaching methods to active ones. These methods include problem-search and creatively reproducing, i.e. methods focused on the independent acquisition of knowledge by students, the activation of their cognitive activity, the development of thinking. The use of these methods in the classroom requires not only a good subject-methodical preparation of the teacher, but certain skills of the students. Therefore, at first, traditional methods are combined with such techniques as: 1) the use of visual and technical teaching aids; 2) motivation for reflection, creation of supporting notes; 3) when presenting the material, posing questions, including those of a problematic nature; 4) inclusion in the presentation of situational tasks, for example, such as “if…, then how…” and others.

Appeal to active teaching methods is associated with the goals of general education: not just to communicate ready-made knowledge, but to form in students the cognitive activity and independence necessary for further education.

Cognitive activity means an intellectual-emotional response to the process of cognition, the desire for learning, interest in activities.

Cognitive independence – the desire and ability to think independently, the ability to navigate in a new situation, find your own approach to solving problems, learn ways to acquire knowledge, critically approach judgments.

Active teaching methods can be used at different stages of the educational process: in the initial acquisition of knowledge, in the consolidation and improvement of knowledge, in the formation of skills and abilities.

Characteristics of methods

One of the classifications of methods is according to the degree of activity and independence of students. In accordance with it, there are: explanatory-illustrative, reproductive, problematic, partially search, research methods. Groups of methods are named in order of increasing activity and independence of students.

Explanatory and illustrative methods are associated with the assimilation of ready-made knowledge that is communicated by the teacher. These methods include storytelling, explanation, lecture, conversation, presentation, demonstration, illustration, work with a textbook under the guidance of a teacher. They are used when it is necessary to report some facts, when studying new theoretical material, when getting acquainted with the methods of working with a computer, when reviewing the capabilities of a software tool, etc. For example, during the initial acquaintance with an application program, the teacher demonstrates the elements of the window and makes the necessary explanations about the commands for controlling the program .

So, the teacher can resort to a story when it is necessary to tell the students certain facts in a finished form. For example, when working with textual or graphic information, it is advisable to tell students about the emergence of writing and graphic images, about the evolution of the transmission of graphic information. During the initial acquaintance with any software, the teacher informs the necessary commands, explains the purpose of the keys, demonstrates the keys, pressing which leads to the result, gives a sample exercise for subsequent work performed by students on their own.

For example, the following methods of working with the text of a textbook can be distinguished:

1) annotation;

2) highlighting the main idea;

3) identification of causal relationships;

4) selection of logical blocks;

5) division of the text into main, additional and explanatory;

6) illustrating the text with drawings, models, diagrams;

7) classification;

8) commented reading;

9) note-taking;

10) finding incomprehensible words;

11) retelling of the text according to the plan;

12) posing questions to the text;

13) review;

14) systematization;

15) creation of dynamic computer tools: video clips, presentations, flash videos, etc.

16) creation of static computer tools: diagrams, drawings, diagrams, tables, etc.;

17) drawing up logical-structural diagrams;

18) drawing up tasks according to the text;

19) drawing up reference sheets (summaries);

20) drawing up a text plan;

21) thesis;

22) citation;

23) reading and retelling.

Such methods are effective in cases where the educational material is informational in nature or is a description of the methods of practical activity. Considering that the listed methods do not activate the cognitive activity of schoolchildren, they must be combined with such methods as demonstration, illustration. So, when explaining the principles of working with a specific software tool, the teacher projects the material presented on the screen, makes requirements for students, which they are guided by when performing training exercises to develop certain skills in the environment of this tool.

Simultaneously, demonstration and illustration are methods that are often used in practical classes. The teacher in the lesson can show a presentation or an educational video, followed by a discussion of its content. However, the most common type of work using these methods is working with a software tool. To concentrate attention, it is desirable to turn off the student computer, conduct a demonstration on the host computer or on a demo screen. You can use network programs for demonstration. In this case, students’ computers are used. It is necessary to clearly dose the time, as a long demonstration weakens the attention of schoolchildren.

Methods such as demonstration and illustration should preferably be combined with verbal and practical teaching methods.

Reproductive methods are used to develop the skills and abilities of activities according to the model, in a standard, familiar situation. This group of methods consists of: retelling, work under the guidance of a teacher with training programs, simulator programs, performing various types of exercises according to the model: introductory, training, with commentary.

Introductory exercises are performed during the initial acquaintance with the actions, their implementation is demonstrated and explained by the teacher. For example, after explaining and demonstrating the operation of a graphical editor, students perform introductory exercises on building a segment, polyline, rectangle, circle, etc., using the appropriate icons.

Exercises with commentary allow you to develop more complex skills. Commenting encourages the student to comprehend each action, allows you to track and correct the process of skill formation.

Training exercises are aimed at the formation and consolidation of skills by repeating actions and operations similar to those considered. Such exercises involve a gradual increase in the complexity of tasks and the student’s independence in their implementation. For example: a) the teacher demonstrates a certain action on the host computer or demonstration screen; b) students perform the exercise according to the model or according to the algorithm scheme proposed by the teacher; c) students perform training exercises only on assignment.

Problem methods involve the active participation of students in solving the problem formulated by the teacher in the form of a cognitive task. In this case, they say that the teacher creates a problem situation in the lesson and organizes work with students to solve it. A prerequisite in this case: students must have enough knowledge and skills to find a solution to the problem. Variable exercises can be attributed to this group.

Let us give an example of creating a problem situation when students work with a spreadsheet. Students are encouraged to imagine that they are involved in preparing a school fair to sell homemade goods. It is planned to receive X rubles from the sale. It is required to calculate how to get the planned amount. To do this, you need to define:

a) what price to set for each product; .

b) how many products of each type are to be sold.

First, students fill out a spreadsheet: design headings, form the necessary columns, enter the expected data (the number of goods sold and their price). Then they start solving the problem. To achieve the desired result, repeatedly change the entered data, analyze the subtotals and the final result until the desired or acceptable result is achieved.

When using partial search methods , students are involved in putting forward hypotheses to explain the situation, solve the problem, to set up an experiment, and develop an educational project. The most well-known method from this group is the heuristic conversation. It consists in the following: the teacher builds questions in such a way that students themselves find answers, discovering new information; the teacher only leads the students to discoveries, and the students themselves draw the conclusions. The practical part is represented by tasks, the execution of which takes place in a partially changed situation.

Research methods include observation, experiment associated with working on a computer. The teacher here acts as the organizer of independent search activity of students. The methods of this group are associated with creative activity.

The choice of teaching methods in preparing for lessons depends on many reasons. Among them:

1) the general goals of studying the subject. All academic disciplines can be conditionally divided into three groups: those that form predominantly knowledge, skills, and emotional-value relations. In accordance with this, the methods of forming knowledge, skills, personality traits and worldview, respectively, are of greater importance;

2) the objectives of the lesson and the content of the educational material. For example, for the development of creative potential – problematic teaching methods, for the development of cognitive interests and abilities – independent work with literature, analysis of situations, problem solving;

3) the presence of a certain amount of study time. For example, a conversation requires more time than a story, but a conversation encourages more reflection, recalling information, awareness, and allows you to identify erroneous ideas of students. With a shortage of time, reproductive methods of consolidating knowledge can be used: retelling, exercises according to the model. Real mastery of educational material occurs when the student is able to analyze this or that situation, to outline the correct way to solve the problem. But it takes more time;

4) composition of students, their age, level of preparedness for learning. For example, students do not understand the material due to the large number of gaps, do not have time to write down, do not know how to highlight the main thing. Problem-based learning encourages active mental activity, the development of creative thinking, but requires intellectual skills, thought efforts, and students may not have such skills;

5) teaching aids. With enough technology, individualized training or individual work can be implemented.

In the process of learning, the teacher refers to the same educational material at least three times: during the initial study, during consolidation, and when testing knowledge. There are no universal methods and techniques. Each has its own merits and demerits. The teacher is given the right to choose the methods and techniques of teaching, this manifests his creativity, style of work. The use of different methods at different stages of training increases its effectiveness.

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