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October 2008


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Stephen Edwards <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Stephen Edwards <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 14 Oct 2008 12:32:06 -0400
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Sky, Eve Y wrote:
> My suggestion is to be real about the outcome of competition.

I'll second that as good advice. My first time out as a coach, I
had a completely rookie team of really young kids. We talked as a
group about how much of a challenge it would be to get the robot to
do all the missions, and instead planned to focus on doing just
three missions--the kids picked what they thought were the three
easiest. That may not be the best number for every team, but it
was the one we settled on.

Over the weeks of working on the missions, they came to
see their job as "get these three missions done", rather than "do
every mission" or "score 400 points". That really helped keep them
from becoming overwhelmed, especially when they didn't have *any*
missions working and the tournament was only a week away! When they
were finally able to get all three missions going, they had a huge
sense of accomplishment. They went on to try even more, making last
minute adjustments through the regional tournament itself. But having
some reasonable expectations up front about what they were trying to
do made a huge difference in how they saw themselves as they went

-- Steve

Virginia Tech, CS Dept. Web-CAT: Web-based Center for Software Testing
2050 Torgersen Hall (0106) Automatic grading using student-written tests
Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA

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