New in 2024

An executive summary of updates to the ESaaS course materials for 2024:

  • Virtually all of the lecture videos have been re-recorded, though there are a few gaps. We've updated the YouTube playlist in this instructor's guide (see left) with links to the new videos.

  • The Codio-based CHIPS have been updated to Rails 7 (thanks to Jairo Velasquez at Codio!), and the accompanying documentation in both GitHub and Codio updated. You can use the usual Codio process to make these available by "pulling" from the Template course, and we will also be updating the GitHub repo for those who don't use Codio. (The GitHub repo is rather complicated because it's designed to populate Codio, not to be used standalone.)

  • We have moved virtually all of the non-coding-intensive exercises (quizzes, homeworks, exams) to PrairieLearn. Read the details and get access to these materials. Some of the PrairieLearn exercises make use of Faded Parsons Problems, invented by UC Berkeley PhD student Nate Weinman in 2021, which provide a well-defined intermediate exercise type between code comprehension (code-reading) and code-writing. FPPs involve shorter programming tasks than the Codio CHIPS, but still exercise knowledge of programming.

  • In particular, there is a new CHIPS 8.5 that is not based on Codio but instead uses FPPs to provide a "kinder, gentler" introduction to RSpec test writing.

  • There's numerous updates to the book (current version 2.0b9), most notably a list of competencies at the end of most book sections. Some of these competencies are linked directly to PrairieLearn exercises that test them. The long term goal is to provide one or more PrairieLearn questions for every competency, suitable for use on homeworks or exams.

  • There's a new "SaaS In the News" page where I'm collecting one-line summaries of news articles or videos related to the course topics, organized roughly by chapter.

Any and all contributions to the materials are welcome; email me to learn more!

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