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Is it better practice to show SAGE code on a web use of SAGE?

asked 2013-07-01 06:27:00 -0500

Martin Flashman gravatar image

If you go to my page for The Sensible Calculus Book you will find how I've added SAGE to this page- with interacts for graphs, direction fields and Euler's Method for DE's as well as one of the mapping diagram interacts I am developing from the assistance of Jeff Denny, Jason Grout, and others at Sage Edu Days 5 . I would like feedback on this if you have suggestions- I have currently hidden the code from the users using the interact buttons. Is it better practice to show the Sage code?

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Martin, this probably depends most of all on your use case and the intended audience. I personally like having the code visible so my students know it's not a magic box, but I also haven't used it with my lowest-level classes much, where I may indeed choose to do that. In a test environment you may definitely want to have the code invisible.

kcrisman gravatar imagekcrisman ( 2013-07-01 07:03:56 -0500 )edit

Why not show the sage code? There might be one or two really curious students who will tinker around and learn much more that the others. :-)

ppurka gravatar imageppurka ( 2013-07-01 20:22:42 -0500 )edit

@ppurka - Cheating? If it's super-long and takes up too much space? If the students are uniformly scared by code (this really does happen, I realize that at your institution this is probably not the case as a tech. u.). I'm just saying it probably is a contextual question.

kcrisman gravatar imagekcrisman ( 2013-07-02 03:50:22 -0500 )edit

In any case, it would be good to make the code available somewhere so that others can use it.

Eviatar Bach gravatar imageEviatar Bach ( 2013-07-03 12:38:40 -0500 )edit

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answered 2013-07-03 02:46:02 -0500

niles gravatar image

I have two suggestions on this topic:

First, you should only show the source code if it is written clearly enough to be understood by students. Showing them something incomprehensible will probably have the opposite of the effect you would like. Python makes it pretty easy to write code that's readable by people with programming experience, but if that's not true of your students you'll have to take extra care and you might decide that effort isn't worth it.

Second, in an html format you can make showing the source optional. A button that says "Show source code" could open it in a popup window, or create a new tab with the source code and a fresh copy of the interact so they can play right there, or just unhide it on the current page.

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Asked: 2013-07-01 06:27:00 -0500

Seen: 149 times

Last updated: Jul 03 '13