Call For Participation

Elementary Patterns
and their Role in Instruction

A ChiliPLoP 2000 Hot Topic

What Are We About?

There are many ways to look at patterns. An especially useful way to think of patterns is as a tool for teaching. We don't use patterns blindly; we learn them. Patterns are all about learning new techniques, understanding when and how to use them.

This workshop will explore the teaching side of patterns, especially patterns appropriate for novices learning in more formal instructional settings. We will consider how patterns can be used in such settings. We will also evaluate some elementary patterns that are in use and try to determine what makes a pattern suitable for novices.

Our goal is to explore how to use patterns effectively to teach novices. If you would like to seek answers to this question, then you will want to consider attending the workshop on elementary patterns and their role in instruction, to be offered as a part of ChiliPLoP'99. Read on for answers to these questions about the Hot Topic workshop:

What Will We Do?

Our goal is to explore how to use patterns effectively to teach novices. One of our primary means toward this end will be to learn by doing. We will produce a prototype or two: the design of a course organized around patterns, or a set of curricular materials for such a course, or a pattern language for teaching some elementary topic. Two focus groups of three or four people each will work together for much of the workshop to create these artifacts, which will then be reviewed by the whole group at the end of the workshop. Topics of the focus groups will be selected based on the requests to participate and the strengths and interests of the selected participants.

In the end, our artifacts may or may not prove useful beyond the workshop itself. But, even if they are not, we will have learned something about the use of patterns to teach novices and, we hope, have increased our chances of succeeding in future attempts.

How Will We Do It?

Our initial plan for the workshop is given below. Once participants in the workshop have been identified, they will engage in discussion to tailor the goals, activities, and schedule of the workshop to their own strengths and interests.

Pre-Workshop Preparation

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Who Should Participate?

We hope to attract 6-8 highly motivated and experienced teachers, pattern writers, and software developers to work on this hot topic at ChiliPLoP. To this end, we invite requests to participate from:

How Do I Apply?

Submit a request to participate by e-mail to Eugene Wallingford by Monday, January 31, 2000. Your request might be as short as a single page, identifying your desire to participate, what you hope to achieve by participating, and your experience with patterns and instruction. For example, you might submit:

If you are invited to participate, you will be expected to:

What Are The Important Dates?

The dates to watch for are:

January 31, 2000

Submit your request to participate by this date.

February 15, 2000

We notify all applicants whether they have been accepted to participate or not. Workshop participants commence e-mail discussion to tailor the goals and activities of the workshop.

February 29, 2000

Collectively, we will finalize the list of reading and writing "assignments" to be done prior to the conference. We continue e-mail discussion.

March 14-17, 2000

We gather at the Wickenburg Inn and (set out to) accomplish our goals!

How Do I Find Out More?

For more on the ideas behind this workshop, see the Elementary Patterns home page, and feel free to contact the workshop organizer:

Eugene Wallingford
Department of Computer Science
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0507

Eugene Wallingford ==== ==== December 16, 1999