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Partners for Progress

Discussion in 'Community Learning & Teaching' started by raiden, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. raiden

    raiden

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
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    333
    I wanted to introduce a thought and see how the forum responds. For as long as I can remember I've always been a fan of education and my years in game design has been no exception.

    We have so many resources available, for Unity, and a multitude of users ranging from the total beginner to advanced pro's.

    What would the interest of having something similar to a class room environment where a pair of programmers get together one who has the ability to teach and the other who is willing to work and learn?

    I don't know if this has been mentioned in the past or not, but I think it's a great idea. Granted it would take the willingness of an advanced or novice user to spare time to teach programming in unity, but all the tools are there to make this happen.

    Users could post if they would be willing to teach and other users would post they would like to learn. Schedules could be arranged, and topics could be decided on the teacher similar to a class environment. You could even provide quizzes for the learning participant so that they have a sound understanding of what they are trying to accomplish in code in unity.

    The cool thing about this approach as to videos and documents, you can ask questions when you are confused or don't understand something. I think goals could be set by the teacher and in the end, the student would be able to build a small game from start to finish on their own, and the best part understand the programming it takes to do that.

    I also believe a student would be more dedicated to sticking it out and willing to do the work because they know someone is sacrificing their time to teach someone game programming.

    Your thoughts?

    -Raiden
     
  2. andeeeee

    andeeeee

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Posts:
    8,768
    Interesting suggestion...

    I think SubEthaEdit would be a great tool for pairs of programmers to work with. If you haven't seen this, it is basically a text editor that lets two or more people edit the same document at once - a very neat way for a distant mentor to "lean over" and make changes to your code.

    Do you think this idea applies mainly to programming? I think artists could potentially help each other in a similar way, certainly in terms of learning how to use 3D modelling apps, etc.
     
  3. raiden

    raiden

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    That is a great program! it would be a perfect tool to use just as you suggested.

    I agree with this also. If there is enough interest in this idea, teachers with different skill sets could be broken up, and possibly even teachers with different skill levels could be introduced, such as a very beginner programmer could be paired with an average programming to get them to a beginners level of programming first, same applies to artists, modelers, etc.

    Keeps the ideas for building on this coming.

    -Raiden
     
  4. Bastiaens

    Bastiaens

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Posts:
    101
    Im totally fan of this idea, since im a beginning programmer in gaming language, my life long dream.
    And i would like some teaching about all the intresting parts about unity. to show me what the engine can really do, i payed alot for the Pro license, so I would defenitly like to learn how to work with it..
    So if any ideas, or people who would like to help me!
    Let me know any time. im supporting this idea! x)

    Greetings, jnox
     
  5. WinningGuy

    WinningGuy

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    Aug 10, 2009
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    I love the idea in general. I do see time constraints being a major road block though. People with the expertise often are pretty busy.

    May I suggest having a team of mentors helping a team of students? Maybe 5 experienced programmers helping 5 novice programmers? In turn, those 5 novice progammers have to tutor 5 non-progammers.

    So, in effect, you'll have 5 teachers and 5 students. Maybe all working on the same project and doing the same assignments.

    As for art... that might be a little tougher. There are so many different 3D applications out there.
     
  6. raiden

    raiden

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    I agree with this, it takes time even when your writing tutorials, and I guess there would have to come a time when you have to decide if your going to work on your game or spend your time building tutorials.

    I would propose this however, which is a slightly different approach than what I had originally thought. What if advanced programmers took a small amount of time to post a specific programming task that the advanced programmer knows will help build up the skill set novice programmer? The tasks could start out easy and work there way up to hard and would cover all areas of game programming, just broken up in to bits.

    The whole idea here is learning and remembering what you've learned and the end result would be to have a working knowledge of what's in your "programming toolbox" and to be able to have the understanding of writing the specific piece of code you need for your game.

    Possibly if it was popular enough, it could be a thread here in the forum, it could be called "Programmers Toolbox". Your thoughts?

    -Raiden
     
  7. Bursar

    Bursar

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Posts:
    50
    Maybe something like the workshops over at GD.net could work: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/default.asp?pid=84

    I haven't taken part in them, but it looks like there is a core set of materials that students work from, and projects to complete along the way in order for them to improve their skills.

    It would take a fair bit of effort before hand to organise everything, and the fact that the C# workshop I linked to above includes a link to a free language PDF is a bonus.

    I think the key thing is that whoever signs up as a mentor/teacher, needs to remain present throughout the 'course'. If students drop out, then it's just them who are affected. If a mentor drops out, it could impact the whole course.

    And I'd love to sign up as a student :)
     
  8. raiden

    raiden

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    Feb 8, 2009
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    Bursar, I think thats a great idea as well.

    I've got about a 6 year history with 3DGameStudio, and one of best learning areas it had was the AUM Magazine. It's packed full of workshop lessons, and also focuses on new features and explains how to use them (with examples), and it's totally free.

    I think this would be great for Unity, a workshop area dedicated to teaching by example. What would be killer is to have it indexed like:

    *JavaScript Programming Workshop

    *C# Programming Workshop

    *Build a Game Workshop

    I really don't think this takes anything away from all of the current learning material we have out there, because those are all unique and will at some point always be something someone will be needing or looking for.

    I would think the workshops could be designed to be fun and smart too, keeping you focused and wanting more. The idea again is to simply "continue to fill" the programmers toolbox so that countless hours aren't wasted trying to code something your really not sure how to do.

    I hope the buzz picks up on this. I have to assume most new and even average programmers, are eager to work and learn, they simply need direction.

    -Raiden
     
  9. absolutebreeze

    absolutebreeze

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
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    490
    Sorry to but in guys - but just thought I'd mention that DimDim allows you to host trainig sessions online using their servers for free for up to around 20 people at a time.

    It has desktop share for the host which I have found useful when training users on other stuff like office etc (I am not a traininer).

    It has 2 way voip on it too - although MSN and Skype offer better voip if you ask me.

    But combined with the other tools mentioned on this thread it might be worth bearing in mind.