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CAI: Computer Assisted Learning Software


Disclaimer

This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction) software is expensive and not extensible. This project hopes to rectify that.

To start, select some tasks to teach by computer. Pick a variety, e.g. some mathematics, some reading comprehension, some foreign language.

Implement those, using as many common classes as possible, doing them all in a stereotyped way. When you are done, implement yet another lesson. Take a highlighter and highlight the code that would be interesting to a layman author of such a lesson. Now see if you can find a way to automatically generate the rest.

Then see if you can generate any of the verbose Java code using a more terse syntax.


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