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					How to carve a challenging BEBRAS task

                  Hans-Werner Hein




     058-16-15-27 N 112-15-07-10 W

       How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 01 of 17)
              Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
   Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                  Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
In this talk a "BEBRAS Task" is seen as an
              informational object



      Each "BEBRAS Task" is used in
       at least four target scenarios




       How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 02 of 17)
              Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
   Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                  Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
target scenario 1



  to be an inspiration for controversial and integrating
                     discussions on
 "What is Informatics?", "How to present Informatics?",
        "What is important in Informatics?" etc ...


                  ... at the international BEBRAS workshop



              How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 03 of 17)
                     Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
          Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                         Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
   "Computer Science is no more about computers
       than astronomy is about telescopes."

   Which prominent European Informatics scientist
       and Turing Award recipient said this?


Edsger Wybe Dijkstra from The Netherlands (* 11.05.1930, † 06.08.2002)
Ole-Johan Dahl from Norway                (* 12.10.1931, † 29.06.2002)
Peter Naur from Danmark                   (* 25.10.1928)
Niklaus Wirth from Switzerland            (* 15.02.1934)




                 How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 04 of 17)
                        Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
             Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                            Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
target scenario 2




          to be one in a set of BEBRAS tasks

     to be understood and answered in short time

                -> about 3 minutes per task




              How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 05 of 17)
                     Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
          Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                         Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
target scenario 3




                   to be the inspiration
          for a school class lecture or project,
         which deals with the "It's Informatics!"
                  lying behind the task




              How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 06 of 17)
                     Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
          Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                         Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
It's                                           Informatics!
The "if-then-else" is a widespread used construct in
programming languages. It decides, dependent from
the current situation, about a program's next action.
The "if-then-else" with its platonic "tertium non datur"
suggests, that being able to make a dual decision is the
standard case in life. This tempts programming
beginners to use far to simple dualistic world models in
their apps. Using nesting "if-then-else" constructs or -
much better - "case" constructs, Informatics Didactics
teaches,      what     the      normal     situation      is:
There is a third option to act, and a fourth, and a fifth ...

               How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 07 of 17)
                      Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
           Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                          Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
target scenario 4


        to be the basis of an edutainmental app
               for grown-ups, non-experts
           which are motivated to understand
                  a bit more Informatics



                   (: app comes from appetite :)



              How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 08 of 17)
                     Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
          Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                         Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
An actor to identify with:

  •   you
  •   the beaver (without name = ungendered)
  •   the beaver (with a name = gendered)
  •   peer group (school class, friends)
  •   a student (female or male)
  •   a famous person (historical or fictional)
  •   no actor (abstracted task)

                            ... and lots of other actor types ...


               How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 09 of 17)
                      Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
           Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                          Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
An actor to identify with: Hypotheses


• younger students tend more to funny and fantastic actors

• elder students tend to serious actors or abstracted tasks

• in a contest it is boring, if all tasks use the same actor type

• you can change the actor type of any task




                How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 10 of 17)
                       Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
            Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                           Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
The terminology used in a task:

 • as few terms as possible

 • no various words for the same thing
 • no similar words for different things

 • no long and complicated words
 • no abbreviations

 • correct dualisms (if there is "left" then there is "right")

 • terms have to be consistent with the pictures


               How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 11 of 17)
                      Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
           Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                          Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
The terminology used in a
task:

You go on a treasure hunt.
Regard the three hints. Look for
the treasure somewhere in the
forest. Starting at the rocks head
for the flowers. The treasure is
hidden 20 steps distant from the
snail. You start at the old cottage.
Which route hits the treasure
position?



                How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 12 of 17)
                       Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
            Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                           Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
The terminology used in a
task:

You go on a treasure hunt.
Regard the three hints. Look for
the treasure somewhere in the
forest. Starting at the rocks head
for the flowers. The treasure is
hidden 20 steps distant from the
snail. You start at the old cottage.
Which route hits the treasure
position?



                How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 13 of 17)
                       Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
            Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                           Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
The cover story:


• no redundancy

• short sentences

• the order of the few sentences is crucial for understanding

• first sentence should be an awareness catcher




               How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 14 of 17)
                      Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
           Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                          Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
The cover story:



Simple programs are just a sequence of commands.

A command describes something to do.

A simple program only makes sense,
if the commands are executed sequentially.




               How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 15 of 17)
                      Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
           Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                          Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
A message as an immediate award:

Example:

To maintain order and disorder in a set of things,
you need a sorting algorithm which uses
the common attributes of these things.


• learning by solving a task

• one basic insight per task (a meme, an "Ah!")



               How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 16 of 17)
                      Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
           Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                          Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11
 The next three days
have fun with all those
   task proposals!




          How to Carve a Challenging BEBRAS Task (page 17 of 17)
                 Hans-Werner Hein (Verlässliche IT-Systeme)
      Open Conference on Informatics Fundamentals and Computer Fluency
                     Druskininkai (Lithuania), 2011-05-11

				
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