Panos Linos is a faculty member in the Department of Computer
Science and Software Engineering. He joined the faculty of Butler
about ten years ago and helped create a new software engineering
major within the computer science program.
Linos chose a unique technology to use in a core curriculum
class he instructed. Many non-science students took the course
because it fulfilled their quantitative and formal reasoning
requirement and because it integrated personal robots, called
Scribblers. The main object of the class was to teach students how
to write computer programs, which Linos explained as "a tedious and
sometimes non-intuitive material." Through the incorporation of
robots, he was able to make the class more fun and interactive.
The students used a programming language called Python and wrote
programs to instruct the Scribblers to do simple tasks, such as
talking, drawing pictures, and dancing. The robot utilizes the
computer chip as its brain and light sensors, proximity sensors,
and a speaker to execute the student's program. Linos was glad that
"It becomes a very interesting and fun way to introduce programming
to freshmen and non-science students."
Programming the robot to do a specific task was what many of the
assignments encompassed. But asking each student to present their
program in class would have consumed a large amount of time.
Faculty at the Center for Academic Technology introduced Linos to
software called Panopto that provided a solution to his problem.
Panopto allows students to record video, sound, PowerPoint, and
screen capture into one presentation that can be uploaded to a
class folder for submission. Linos utilized this software by
requiring students to record the behavior of the robot and then
submit the video as part of the programming assignment.
Linos feels that the integration of technology into his
classrooms has not only improved his teaching, but has also saved
him a lot of time. It has also aided students, because instead of
worrying about demonstrating their assignments inside the
classroom, they were allowed to concentrate on the logistical
issues and fine tune as they prepared the assignment.