Great Teaching

I love this video from the first lecture of [CS 106A Programming Methodology]( (Recorded in Fall 2008). Apart from the enthusiasm of the lecturer Mehran Sahami, which is infectious, it’s a great source of inspiration for learning and teaching:
– Grading without numbers
– The Stanford Honour Code (approach to Plagiarism)
– Use of undergraduates for peer/mentor support (even grading!)
– Use of sugary snacks as rewards for contribution
– Use of continuous assessment with later work given more marks to encourage work to the end
– Midterm tests
– Personalized feedback via “interactive marking”
– 2 Free days for late submission of coursework – avoids extensions.

Not sure how we could do it all … but there must some of this which has to be worth trying. The video embedded below is hosted on YouTube and can be downloaded and redistributed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works) license.
[There is a YouTube channel for the whole course](
The follow-on course, [CS106B Programming Abstractions]( (See [YouTube channel for CS106B](, was also recorded in the 2008 academic year. The lecturer that year, Julie Zelenski, is also a great performer, but the course is also worth noting because it’s the first example I’ve seen where there’s a Facebook link page embedded in the course web site.

Author: cpjobling

Senior lecturer, College of Engineering, Swansea University