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FORCE2018 at McGill University on October 11-12, 2018 – with pre-conference workshops on Oct 10 hosted at Concordia University
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Friday, October 12 • 10:00am - 10:30am
Git Going with LEGO: Tactile techniques for teaching text-based tools

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Git is arguably an essential tool of modern scholarship and research communication. It offers robust, distributed version control and mechanisms for collaboration and sharing through online platforms such as GitHub. Yet, Git is obtuse, abstract, and a challenge to both teach and learn. Even well-designed lessons such as those offered by The Carpentries (https://carpentries.org/) put novice learners in situations of potential cognitive overload as they work to understand the processes behind fundamental commands like git init, git add, and git commit. Creating a mental model of Git's functions without assistance from tangible examples is error-prone and may result in confusion, frustration, and discouragement. Enter LEGO. Novice learners can manipulate LEGO to build their understanding of Git's functions at the same time that they are learning the commands that make these functions happen. Jamene, a Carpentries instructor, and Tami, a LEGO Serious Play facilitator (http://seriousplay.training/), will engage FORCE2018 attendees with a hands-on-your-LEGO demonstration of teaching Git with tactile materials. While playing with LEGO, we will:
•Acknowledge characteristics of text-based tools that intimidate and challenge novice learners
•Participate in the use of tactile materials for teaching and/or learning text-based tools
•Consider teaching text-based tools with tactile materials to support learners in moments when they are overwhelmed by new information

avatar for Tami Albin

Tami Albin

Associate Librarian, University of Kansas
avatar for Jamene Brooks-Kieffer

Jamene Brooks-Kieffer

Data Services Librarian, University of Kansas