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Comment Re:Flipped Classrooms (Score 4, Informative) 307

I've got some feedback to point you toward, NotDrWho.
The style of classroom you describe is used extensively by the University of Oklahoma School of Computer Science after a bunch of research. Several years worth of studies essentially found that the lower performing students in those groups would later take individual exams and score roughly half a letter grade higher than those who didn't work in those group projects... follow up studies attributed this gain mostly to being forced to be in proximity to the already-successful students. The already-successful students ALSO BENEFIT from the system, showing a notable jump in their own individual exam scores, but, more importantly, showing a significant jump in their individual *retention* of information a year later, attributed to not only having to learn the material but attempting to teach the material. The situation is pretty much loathed by the already-successful students, but the data has been repeated year after year that it is better for nearly all the students in the environment, both the top performers and the bottom performers. Moreover, over several years of exposure, a peer pressure effect builds up, and you get more and more students actively participating in the later years.

If you want to learn more, the term you should Google is "Readiness Assurance Tests"... these are tests that students take twice, once as a group and once as individuals, and your score is the average of the group and the individual. You can also take a look at these links:

Comment Re:Activity or productivity (Score 1) 165

I heard someone propose that software engineers in an Agile environment could be measured by "number of user stories marked finished AND accepted by testers", on the assumption that the software engineers were not allowed to write the user stories in the first place. It's an approach that seems questionable to me, but it was the first proposal I'd heard that seemed tied to the results of the programming instead of to the activity of the programming (i.e. you would be rewarded for finishing a user story in less code and less time instead of more code/more time). The theory was that different size user stories would average out over time so that over the course of a year or so everyone on the team would work on some big stories and some small but the results at the end would be comparable.

Has anyone ever worked in an environment like that? If so, what's it like?

Comment Re:Christian Science Monitor (Score 1) 72

As a journalism major, one of my projects was to evaluate the quality of different news sources. CSM ranked in that project as a very high quality newspaper. The religion of their founder includes "tell the truth" among its foundational tenets, and over 100 years, they've allowed that to take priority over the rest of their philosophy, even in medical reporting, which is the area where Christian Science and actual science differ the most.

Comment Re:irrelevant (Score 1) 115

It is not factually relevant. It is, in fact, factually misleading. Talking about revenue percentage tells you nothing about how reasonable it is for a company to continue doing this kind of charity. If Intel had X revenue but lost money for the year such that they had negative profit, that highlights even more starkly just how irrelevant the revenue percent is. But by highlighting percent of revenue, the article summary make it sound like Intel is obviously doing this for reasons other than financial, whereas by stating it as a percent of profit, we can have a real debate about whether the financial incentives are sufficient motivation, without trying to pre-judge Intel with other motivations.

Comment Gallium Nitrade Valley does not have the same ring (Score 1) 90

I think this may be a marketing mistake. Can we get the performance boost with the new substance but continue to call the new substance "silicon"? Perhaps we could rename silicon as something else to free up the namespace? "Silicon classic" perhaps? :-)

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 225

You don't want to autocorrect it unless you also provide a way for the user to say, "No, I really meant to type that." After all, what if this were a bug on a different service, say, Facebook, and you wanted to spread the word about it on Twitter? If autocorrect prevents you from typing certain strings, that's a potential problem when coincidentally there's a need to discuss that string. The correct thing is to decide it isn't a URL and just let it go.

Comment Re:Perfect Security is Easy... (Score 2) 119

Stuxnet got onto Iranian centrifuges disconnected from the Internet and in locked and secured facilities. The problem is that at some point, someone has to communicate with these systems, so perfect security isn't possible... even just talking to them runs into the "little Bobby tables" problem.

Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you actually have a shot at it.