I am writing an essay on the topic of outdated programming practices being taught to college students by professors, and I am having a very difficult time finding sources. I know for a fact this is something that is actually happening, as we encounter such students asking for help here and find out their professor is requiring them to use outdated software or simply teaching them old or incorrect information. Somehow though, I can't find any sources.
Does anyone know of any sources I can use? Any programming language will do, I just get the impression that it is more of a problem with C/C++.
The same for python forums. We have people coming in saying their professor insists they use such and such module when it is outdated, and other modules exists that much better suits their needs and replaces the outdated module.
I couldnt find any sources, but if i do i will let you know.
Chances you are using the wrong search terms. I haven't anything I can lay my hand on to help you for your specific interest, but you might want to try googling around something like "outdated post-secondary pedagogies computer science" and "developing countries cs curriculum".
Remember, economic structure is a significant piece of what you are looking to learn, so find some stuff peer-reviewed by sociologists.
If you have access to a university library's journals, use it.
I think your best bet might be scouring the class syllabi and homework prompts that you can find on google. Hell, one time I found a final exam template while searching for bad practices being taught. I'm convinced that google can find anything that has ever been on the internet.
> outdated programming practices being taught to college students by professors,
> Does anyone know of any sources I can use?
I far as C++ goes, shouldn't be too hard if we start with the list of notorious text books.
For instance, Deitel and Deitel claims that their 'C++ How to Program' is "the world's best selling C++ textbook". A whole lot of professors must have put this down as mandatory / strongly recommended reading for students. I guess the other superstar text book author Herbert Schildt wouldn't be very far behind. And then there are many more: Stephen Prata, DS Malik ...
Just track down school / university courses where the professor has specified one of these books as the course text book - there ought to be a lot of them.
DeVry, at the time I went to it, required you to get the C++ Programming From Analysis to Design by DS Malik. I never read it due to knowing the language and passing the course, but I was curious why his books are bad? I read bad reviews of a lot of books, but they are normally along the line of "It isn't for beginners" or "The book doesn't cover what it claims, or does so poorly.". Google usually just directed me to the poor reviews that said that, but nothing else that I have noticed. Seems Schildt is more easily found as to what his faults are.
Ah.. 'C++ Programming From Analysis to Design' by DS Malik.
Here is a list of eight introductory C++ books along with their prices at Amazon.
Koenig And Moo - Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example $35.77
Lippman, Lajoie and Moo - C++ Primer $41.48
Bruce Eckel - Thinking in C++: Introduction to Standard C++, Volume One $47.49
Stroustrup - Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ $48.38
CS Horstman - Big C++ $106.11
Walter Savitch - Problem Solving with C++ $112.91
Deitel and Deitel - C++ How to Program $131.29
DS Malik - C++ Programming: From Problem Analysis to Program Design $154.98
The first for cost under $50, the last four over $100.
No prizes for guessing which four are the ones that are more (most) often prescribed as mandatory text books for college students.
I think Luc Lieber is on the right track here. If I were doing this project I would start by searching for the course curriculum of two year\community colleges; then take the names of the professors and Google search to see if any of them have personal blogs relating to C\C++. It's likely that what is on their blog is what they are teaching in class. There isn't a guarantee that you'll find anything useful of course, and you should look at it as more of a launching point then a resource in itself. Hopefully you won't find too many examples this way but the idea here is that a tenured professor who is stuck teaching an introductory class at a community college isn't likely to have a reason to update his skill set or syllabus. The basics of things like function calls don't change that often; but the code surrounding them does.
You should probably leave specific names out of your report. This report is an interesting idea though.
Textbooks are expensive, but that doesn't automatically make the author bad. They seldom have anything to do with the pricing of the book once they are done.
For example, Deitel and Deitel, I've seen it pointed out that they have in one part of their book that you should never use zero initialized for loops for(int i =0; i < var; ++i) but rather to use one initialized for loops for(int i = 1; i < n-1; ++i) and then proceed to use the zero initialized version throughout the book.Breaking their own rule rather than being consistent. I didn't know if Malik had the same problems or not.
Colleges do usually pick the expensive books, but it is funny because if the college gets the cheaper books they are marked as being a bad college or offering a bad course/degree. For example, I have a BSc in Game and Simulation Programming from DeVry University, but I've been told I got screwed because they had courses that had cheap books like the Ultimate 3D Game Engine Design & Architecture ( http://tinyurl.com/kw7o2z5 ) and had us buy Torque Game Engine (TGE, TGEA, TGB) to make games.
I'm confused. Are you doing original research here? Your OP posits that you are "writing an essay on the topic of..." Essays are not usually the place to find original research, and, frankly, it is a waste of your time to do so. (There is going above and beyond for a homework, and there is going off the deep end for a minor thing.)
Textbooks are expensive because the publishers know that they can sell them at an absurd price - even if no one else buys them, students in large numbers will be forced to buy these books. It is a pure business proposition; as high as the market is willing to absorb. For instance "Deitel and Deitel - C++ How to Program" is one of the cheaper C++ books in India (INR 507, converted to USD, about $8.20)
> because if the college gets the cheaper books they are marked as being
> a bad college or offering a bad course/degree.
Actually, all the colleges which have good standing within the C++ community tend to prescribe one of the cheaper books from the earlier list. However, they are in a small minority.
That doesn't necessarily require you to do original research.
Find out what other people say and report on their research.
I don't know what gave you the impression I was ever trying to do original research - in fact my professor will not allow it. We have to cite sources in MLA format, and a syllabus is an acceptable source. Maybe I'm confused or not explaining it right...perhaps I'm confused and what we're having to do is original research. I don't know, I might ask my professor if I remember.
@ OP (who happens to be LB): I really hope I'm misreading your last post. Please tell me you didn't burn this shot on some freshmen toss away. I may have a chip on my shoulder, especially in regards to teachers, but you really have a chance here to draw attention to a severe issue. This burn hurts a bit...