AI helps students skip right to the good stuff in this intro programming course

Uncommon Courses is an occasional series from The Conversation U.S. highlighting unconventional approaches to teaching.

“Learn AI-Assisted Python Programming”

Generative AI is really good at computer programming – to the point where the way we teach and assess students who are learning to program must change.

We used to give students dozens or hundreds of small targeted programming tasks, drilling each aspect of the syntax – the words and symbols – of programming. That worked well as a starting point, except now generative AI tools can solve all of these problems. Educators can try to ban these tools (good luck with that!), or embrace them. We chose to embrace them in our new course, where students learn to program – supported by a generative AI assistant.

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