Teaching Learning Centre Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (Under PMMMNMTT, MHRD)


The TLC at IIT Hyderabad conducted a workshop titled "How to teach programming" at DVR college of engineering and technology, Kandi, on Feb 18, 2016. Twenty five faculty from the computer science department participated in the workshop.

The faculty were asked to write a C program for multiplying a 3x2 matrix with a 2x3 matrix on paper. These papers were circulated among the faculty such that each faculty received a program written by a colleague. Bilateral exchanges were avoided.

All faculty were asked to type the programs on computer and execute them. All syntax and logical errors had to be marked on the paper and discussed with the author of the program. The final goal was to correct all errors and successfully run the programs.

Faculty were asked to give their feedback on this mode of teaching. They listed the following positives:

  1. Logical thinking: Instead of a hit and miss style of programming, people would focus on getting the program right on the first run. This would inculcate a habit of writing good code that is likely to result in few errors.
  2. Reading code: In the software industry, a lot of programmers have to fix bugs. This is possible only if the programmer is used to reading a lot of code.
  3. Debugging skills: When debugging someone else's code, it is imperative that the programmer latches on to bugs fast. The teaching style introduced by the TLC helps train students do this.
  4. Teamwork: For debugging code written by someone, a lot of interaction is required by the inexperienced programmer initially. This helps foster team spirit among the students and results in faster learning.