Tools used: ColdFusion
A couple of weeks ago I was talking to one of the Italian instructors about her clever use of Voicethread (more on that in a future post). As a performance of understanding she asks her students to create Voicethread videos using their newly acquired Italian language skills as a narrative. Not only does each student create their own video but they also have to provide feedback, in Italian, to five of their classmates. Her question to me was “Do you have a clever way to assign students to each other randomly? Ensuring that each student receives feedback from exactly five individuals.”
I immediately made this a more difficult problem than it had to be as I started thinking of ways of using a random number generator and keeping track of who is assigned to who in a variety of arrays etc. Silly me. A quick consultation with one of our far more experienced developers made me feel like a complete dunce. Since there are no other factors in who has to provide feedback to who all you do is get a list of the students, for each student in the list, assign them to providing feedback to the next five students on the list.
This could easily have been done manually but why do that when you can write one piece of code that will take care of any future requests of this nature. And it’s nice to do a bit of coding now and again, even if it’s low level stuff.