Basic programming concepts (variables, conditions, loops, functions, lists) are taught in many university courses and even become core competencies in pre-college studies. Moreover, these concepts are often prerequisites for more advanced courses related to digital skills. Thus, basic programming skills are becoming more and more important and form a foundation for many courses in all faculties. Learning them, however, is often considered tedious and scary.
The pedagogical project, designed to change this perception, concerns the "Information Technology in ESF" and "Programming I in SF" courses taught in Bachelor and Master programs at the University of Neuchâtel. The pedagogical principle is to propose practical work to non-informaticians (mathematicians, biologists, etc.) to introduce them to programming in the Python language. The goal of the project is to open computer science as an indispensable interdisciplinary tool and to find another approach to teaching computer science to non-computer scientists.
A big challenge in many digital skills courses is the heterogeneous level of students which forces teachers to review the basics at the expense of more advanced content.