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Lab Materials for Java Media Computation

From Columbus State College

From: Wayne Summers
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 16:17:50 -0500
Cc: "Guzdial, Mark"
Subject: Re: [Mediacomp-teach] FW: Best way to configure lab environment for Intro to Programing Java w/Media Comp

Hi Alvaro,

We started teaching a section of our CS1 class last Fall using
Introduction to Programming using Java with Media Computation and had
the same concerns you have. We installed Dr. Java in a read-only public
folder for our students in the labs on campus. Each student also has a
file space that they used to store their own copy of the media sources
and BookClasses, but I didn't want them to change BookClasses.

Our CS1 class includes a 1-credit, 3 contact hour weekly lab and a
3-credit lecture/recitation, so I structured a series of guided
programming assignments that allowed the students to write their own
applications using the same BookClasses API without changing any of the
original BookClasses methods. You can find the set of closed lab
assignments at and
the programming assignments (done outside of class) at
Doing it this way made grading much easier since we all used the same
BookClasses methods and students only needed to submit one or two .java
files for me to grade. Students had no problem writing applications by
the third week.

NOTE: We also taught two other CS1 sections without the Media
Computation focus (using the Lewis/Loftus book) and are assessing the
difference. My class had a significantly higher completion and pass rate
and appears to have a higher student satisfaction rate. We will be able
to better compare the two methods after this semester. Students from
both groups are taking the same CS2 class.