update on my class
I currently have twenty-nine students in my class
at sessions.edu. No one has completed all the lessons yet (two people have completed lesson 4; there are six lessons in all). I have ten men and nineteen women—yay for the girls in a programming class! The geographic breakdown is really diverse: 3 unknown (they didn't fill out their "about me" profile), 4 in California, 3 in Michigan, 2 in Washington, 1 each in Georgia,Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Belize, Germany, Malaysia, Puerto Rico and Yemen.
I have two problem children, and I hear that 2/29 (or thereabouts) is the average for troublesome students. Sessions.edu has a student services department that I've used quite a bit with these two. But my other folks, the ones who are progressing through the lessons at least, are doing well. Some of them hit a brick wall with Lesson 2, which is all about databases and where I explain normalization and relationships, and that's a common feeling. Normalization/relationships is something either you can visualize right away, or you can't. Many people can't do the abstract thinking—not only in the class but in the workplace, too. There are plenty of programmers and developers out there that just don't "get" it. So, I don't grade too harshly if they make a good effort.
My grading/answering e-mail load isn't too terribly. I usually do it all at night, letting things pile up during the day. Well, "pile" isn't really correct, because I may only have 4 or 5 exercises and a few e-mails. But I spent a good deal of time (maybe 15-20 mins?) grading an exercise and pointing things out. I'll be really happy when the early-bird tuition is over at the end of this month, because I'm basically working for half price. It's not really about the money, but the money is nice to have.
There's some scuttle that I may teach another course, which would be cool. There's a fellow developing a course but doesn't have the time to teach it. I said that I'd totally do it, but I'm not going to get all excited or place my iPod order until I have a contract. Just superstitious that way....