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Quizzes beyond scope

I'm seeing a lot of quizzes that mention "uses cmath" etc. I've no knowledge of these libraries and don't feel that quizzes should include material not covered in the tutorial. I also don't feel that you should be capable of relatively complex mental arithmetic to solve quizzes, either. When I get a quiz like that I'll lose, simply because I'm not fast enough. I can grasp the code, but I can't hold all the variables in my head. Anybody else feel the same way?

5th Jun 2017, 5:16 PM
Smellfungus
4 Answers
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I do agree if the challenge relies on a library people may not be aware of, but if its something not taught in the course it can still be very useful information. For instance, when you say beyond the scope would it be ok if things are just done differently that nobody would have thought of without first seeing? For example, In Java, I had a quiz declined that had a class extend ArrayList<String>, both extending and arraylists have been gone over in the tutorial, but I highly doubt anyone who went over the tutorial would think this was even possible. Is this beyond the scope? Or knowledge that should be realized? (It was declined anyway, just thought I'd bring something like this up though)
5th Jun 2017, 5:29 PM
Rrestoring faith
Rrestoring faith - avatar
+ 4
I think common libraries that are part of the basic skill set are fine. For example, in Python it can be expected that people know how to use the math, itertools and re libraries. I'm pretty sure all of these were covered in the course, too. I'm not familiar with C++ but if cmath is, similarly, a common math library, I don't think it's a problem. I've noticed that in general the quizzes seem to have things that might have been mentioned but were never directly taught in the course, or are more complex or difficult versions. I personally don't mind that because it gives it some much needed challenge. I also hope it might encourage people to learn new things, if they weren't aware of some library or method or something before. The information in the courses is, after all, very condensed and the only way to get a good grasp of it all is by applying it to a wide variety of situations.
5th Jun 2017, 10:57 PM
Taija
Taija - avatar
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Good question! I don't know anything about Java, by it sounds fine to me. In my opinion the quizzes should be natural extensions on what has already been provided, not a quiz on something you couldn't be expected to know. In my opinion they should follow the same structure as exams: in order to get the top scores you should be demonstrating a depth of understanding. I wouldn't expect a student to have knowledge beyond the scope of the course.
5th Jun 2017, 5:35 PM
Smellfungus
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Sure Taija, I agree with challenge... but it's not a challenge if you haven't the knowledge. That's my point. I would love to see inventive uses of code, and unexpected results from seemingly obvious code. That's a challenge for me. But figuring out a square root, trying to do complex mental arithmetic or work out what the members of a function in a library for tables that I may never use do... these don't count as challenging my c++ skills. The key point for me is that the libraries follow on from the basics. You can learn it elsewhere, or teach yourself. There are plenty of resources. I don't think a challenge is the place for learning new skills, I think it's a place for honing them. Especially if the code is lacking the correct syntax, which, where libraries are concerned, they often are. So far I can only agree to them if the tutorial is expanded to include the libraries used.
6th Jun 2017, 1:20 PM
Smellfungus