the cyber-dojo test page




test button

  • click it to run your tests
  • the file opens and displays the result
  • a new traffic-light appears


traffic-lights


Click any traffic-light to open the history dialog
  • red - the tests ran but one or more failed.
  • amber - the tests did not run, eg syntax error.
  • green - the tests ran and all passed.
  • the tests did not complete in 15 seconds. Accidentally coded an infinite loop? Too many concurrent cyber-dojos? Lost your network connection?
  • the total number of traffic-lights (in the current colour)
  • a pie-chart indicating the number of red, amber and green traffic-lights so far
  • your animal. Click this to open a dashboard page


filenames


  • click a filename to open it in the editor
  • the file is read-only
  • lit filenames (in yellow) form the focus of the practice
  • the starting code files are unrelated to the chosen exercise
  • click to create a new file
  • click to rename the current file
  • click to delete the current file


shortcuts

  • alt-t runs the tests
  • alt-o toggles to-from the file
  • alt-j cycles forwards through the lit files (and output)
  • alt-k cycles backwards through the lit files (and output)




evidence for pairing effectiveness

When I run a cyber-dojo I always ask the participants to work in pairs, two people per computer. I've been doing some research on pairing and I've come across a book called Visible Learning by John Hattie. It's a synthesis of over 800 experiments and papers relating to achievement in schools. On page 225 there is a section called The use of computers is more effective when peer learning is optimized. It reads, and I quote...
  • Lou, Abrami, and d'Apollonia (2001) reported higher effects for pairs than individuals or more than two in a group.
  • Liao (2007) also found greater effects for small groups (d=0.96) than individuals (d=0.56) or larger groups (d=0.39).
  • Gordon (1991) found effects were larger for learning in pairs (d=0.54) compared to alone (d=0.25).
  • Kuchler (1998) reported d=0.69 for pairs and d=0.29 for individuals.
  • Lou, Abrami, and d'Apollonia (2001) reported that students learning in pairs had a higher frequency of positive peer interactions (d=0.33), higher frequency of using appropriate learning or task strategies (d=0.50), persevered more on tasks (d=0.48), and more students succeeded (d=0.28) than those learning individually when using computers.
What do the numbers mean? Quoting from the front of the book...
An effect size of d=1.0 indicates an increase of one standard deviation on the outcome - in this case the outcome is improving school achievement. A one standard deviation increase is typically associated with advancing children's achievement by two to three years, improving the rate of learning by 50%, or a correlation between some variable and acheivement of approximately r=0.50. When implementing a new program, an effect size of 1.0 would mean that, on average, students receiving the treatement would exceed 84% of the students not receiving that treatment.
Of course, things are rarely absolutely black and white, but these are impressive numbers.

  • Lou, Y., Abrami, P.C., & Apollonia, S. (2001). Small group and individual learning with technology: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 71(3), 449-521
  • Liao, Y.K.C. (2007). Effects of computer-assisted instruction on students' achievement in Taiwan: A meta-analysis. Computers and Education, 48(2), 216-233.
  • Gordon, M.B. (1991). A quantitative analysis of the relationship between computer graphics and mathematics achievement and problem-solving. Unpublished Ed.D., University of Cincinnati, OH.
  • Kuchler, J.M. (1998). The effectiveness of using computers to teach secondary school (grades 6-12) mathematics: A meta-analysis. Unpublished Ed.D., University of Massachusetts Lowell, MA.

facilitating a cyber-dojo tips

When I'm facilitating a cyber-dojo with a new group here's how I typically start:
  1. I suggest that developers habits and thinking is strongly influenced by their development environments. If you use Eclipse to develop software then when you use Eclipse your default mentality is one of development. Not practising. Since we're practising, we deliberately don't use a development environment.
  2. I point out that cyber-dojo is not a personal development environment, it's a shared practice environment. In a development environment it makes sense to have tools such as colour syntax highlighting and code-completion to help you go faster so you can ship sooner. In a practice environment it doesn't. When you're practising you don't want to go faster, since you're not shipping anything. You want to go slower. You want your practice to be more deliberate.
  3. I observe that since it is so different to a development environment, participants may feel some slight discomfort when first using cyber-dojo. This discomfort is also deliberate! Discomfort can bring learning opportunities.
  4. I do a short demo explaining...
    • the files on the left side
    • the initial source files bear no relation to the exercise
    • the test button
    • the output file
    • the meaning of the red, amber, green traffic lights
  5. I ask the participants to enter their dojo in pairs. Pairing is an important part of the learning. Occasionally a few choose not to pair (and that's fine) but most do.

the cyber-dojo history dialog

The history dialog shows the code for any traffic-light for any animal.
For example, this is the lion's 15th traffic light.




  • diffs are shown; moving to the previous/next animal moves directly to their first traffic-light.
  • diffs are not shown; moving to the previous/next animal moves directly to their last traffic-light.



Click on any traffic-light on the title bar to navigate directly to it.
The current traffic-light is marked with a bar.




  • moves to the previous animal in the cyber-dojo.
  • the current animal.
  • moves to the next animal in the cyber-dojo.



Click any filename to view its content.
Its first diff-chunk (if it has one) will auto-scroll into view.
  • the number of lines deleted from the file (if any).
    click to toggle the deleted lines on/off.
  • the number of lines added to the file (if any).
    click to toggle the added lines on/off.
  • the current filename.
    re-click to auto-scroll its next diff-chunk into view.


  • deleted lines are coloured red
  • added lines are coloured green



Forks a brand new cyber-dojo, with its own id.
The new cyber-dojo's starting files will be copied from the currently displayed traffic light.



Reverts the files of the animal that launched the history diff to the files in the currently displayed traffic light.




the cyber-dojo dashboard

You can get to the dashboard page from the home page:
  • enter your cyber-dojo id, e.g.,
    3AF65A
  • click the button.



animals

Each horizontal row corresponds to one animal and displays, from left to right:

auto refresh

  • when checked the dashboard auto-refreshes every ten seconds.
  • turn auto-refresh on during the coding.
  • turn auto-refresh off during the review.


minute columns

  • when unchecked the traffic-lights of different animals are not vertically time-aligned.
  • when checked each vertical column corresponds to one minute and contains all the traffic-lights created by all the animals in that one minute.
  • if no animals press their button during one minute the column will contain no traffic-lights at all (instead it will contain a single dot and be very thin).


duration

  • displays how much time has passed since the cyber-dojo started.
  • the start time is not the time the cyber-dojo was created, but the time the first animal presses their button (this allows you to prepare custom starting point cyber-dojos ahead of time).
  • updates every ten seconds if auto-refresh is checked.



If available this displays slightly more information about the most recent non-amber traffic-light of each animal, usually the number of passing and failing tests.



Downloads a .tar.gz file of the cyber-dojo.
Each animal has its own git repository.