CMU 15-539: Computer Science Pedagogy, Fall 2017
Homework 4
Due Mon 25-Sep at 11:59pm

As with hw1, this hw is optionally collaborative (except where indicated otherwise).

What to submit to autolab: a single zip file,, which contains a single folder, hw4, which itself contains all the files required for this hw.

  1. Logistics
    1. Teammates + Credits
      At the top of your hw submission file, list your hw teammates (if none, list that). Also, clearly list any other credits -- any sources you used in any way for this hw.
    2. Timesheet
      Keep a log of your time investment in 15-539. Record day/duration/activity, and then a weekly total. Submit this detailed timesheet in your hw writeup. In addition fill out this Time-Reporting form with the summary data of the week's time. Note that this will not directly impact your grade, but rather will just help us pace the course properly, so please report accurately.

  2. Hw4 15-104 Tutoring and Reflection Exercise
    To the extent possible (given that there were some logistic issues to resolve to get this going this week), everyone who can be assigned a tutoring session is expected to provide one 30-minute tutoring session to a 15-104 student this week. If you are not assigned such a session, you may skip this part of hw4. After the session, and being sure to fully anonymize any 15-104 students, write a thoughtful bullet-list-style reflection on your key takeaways from the experience, with an eye towards how this might inform our CS1 Content design, and perhaps also our more general UX design.

  3. Hw4 Amazing Ideation Exercise (No code writing, just ideating)
    1. Goal:
      1. Dramatically improve over hw2 ideation
    2. Categories:
      1. Category 1: Relatively simple apps CS1 students can write entirely from scratch
        (Though still with easier/moderate/challenging levels)
      2. Category 2: More complex apps that might be larger projects for CS1 students
      3. Category 3: Perhaps quite complex apps beyond CS1 students, but which would make great harnesses for embedded assignments
    3. Criteria:
      (All through the eyes of high school students!)
      1. Fun, engrossing, unexpected (as HS CS content)
      2. Achievable
      3. Autogradable
      4. Varied (art, games, data viz, science, …)
    4. Some example sites:
      1. paper.js examples
      2. paper.js showcase
      3. two.js examples
      4. pixijs gallery
      5. three.js featured projects
      6. 15-112 term project galleries
      7. Lots and lots of Awesome, Incredible Canvas example sites, such as (randomly chosen)
        1. 21 ridiculously impressive HTML5 Canvas examples
        2. Awesome Canvas (eg, Circular Rings has some promise)
        3. From Scott: is an incredible website with "explorable" lessons on a wide variety of topics. It was started by Nicky Case (, who creates her own awesome visualizations, like fireflies (make sure you scroll down) and Loopy.
    5. SOLO Deliverables:
      1. A list of 3 links to sites not included in the example sites above that contain amazingly motivational examples many of which meet our Categories and Criteria listed above.
      2. For each Category above, a list of 3-4 links to specific amazing examples of that category that satisfy the criteria above. So that's 9-12 total links. Again, super-high-quality!
      3. For each site in part (a) and each link part (b), include a short few bullet items as to why you think it is especially relevant and wonderful.
      4. We will provide some modest bonus for additional links, but only if they maintain the excellent quality of the required elements above. It's about quality. Great sites, great examples.
    6. GROUP Deliverables: (working in groups of 3-4):
      1. Meet and discuss at length all of the SOLO deliverables from each student in the group.
      2. As a group, choose one link to one website from part (a) and one link to one exercise for each of the 3 categories in part (b). You will present these to the class.
      3. Ideation: everything to this point is research and analysis. Here, you will do some blue sky ideation as a group. Come up with one awesome idea that is strikingly original, unlike anything any of you saw in your research, that fits any one of the 3 categories of your choosing. You will include this in your presentation to the class.
      4. Presentation: the group will have 5 minute max in class to present and discuss their work.

  4. Team-Based Exercises
    Each team that you are on will assign its own team-specific hw4 exercises. Submit those along with the rest of hw4, in your file.