Reference and tutorials (was: starting objects sim...)

    Apr 16 2006 | 1:52 pm
    I've been teaching Max since 1991 and I always make the tutorials the first assignment in my Tech 201 (MAX) and Tech 210 (MSP). For years I've been frustrated to find that my students were not doing the tutorials thoroughly.
    This term I made the tutorials a prerequisite to Tech 201. I asked them to copy the tutorial folder into their own space and make a change to each tutorial (with comments) that tells they have done the thing and understood it. If they didn't do the tutorials, they did not get into the class.
    The results are fantastic! At midterm, my Tech 201 students had reached a level of skill that I usually don't see until the end of the term. We were able to move on to rudimentary MSP which means that we will have more time for Jitter in the follow-up class. Furthermore, their success with the tutorials convinced them to explore the help files and reference manual more eagerly.
    My students know this as Nelson's corollary to Murphy's law. "If you do something to save yourself time you almost certainly cost someone else the like amount of their time." Not doing the tutorials wastes your own time.
    Cheers, Gary Lee Nelson TIMARA Department Oberlin College