Interactive Learning Resource – Peer Review – Demystifying Computer Science

This review is on the learning resource, created by Alex Deweert, at this link.

Resource Introduction: On the landing page there is a brief, but concise, description of the resource, the outcome expected for the learner, and the target audience for something of this level. Very clean and well organized.

Moodle General Tab: Given the username and password the login was simple. The landing page brought me to the Moodle course dashboard which looks great. A note on this section which I am sure you are fully aware, as we are all on one account, the course already says 93% complete for me. Not sure if creating separate accounts would be an easy task to tackle for this class assignment, but I thought I would mention it.
All in all looks really professional with a great breakdown of learning modules and quizzes. This looks like a real course on course spaces.

Readme: Great indication of what to expect from the course before going in. Simple and straight-forward.

Introduction: Again, a great set of learning objectives with a more in-depth description of what to expect from the modules. Nice succinct set of learning outcomes at the bottom for the student to compare against when finished.
The How to use this course page gave a great description of what tools the student will be using to learn.

————————————–On to the learning—————————————-

Numbers: Great short history lesson on numbers and enjoyed the first quiz except that I couldn’t actually answer it. Again I imagine that this is an issue with only having one account so no problem at all. Oh wait, I was able to hit the re-attempt quiz button and that cleared the previous submission.

Rational and irrational numbers: I was a little misled by the links on the word “numbers”. I was expecting to go to some site with more information on “irrational numbers” or “whole numbers”.

* Great sections on Binary and Hexadecimal.

I really liked the sections after the quizzes as they seemed to give a lot more information than the previous sections, although, I can see why you might not want to add any more to them as even what is there could be overwhelming.

Final Quiz: Really enjoyed the quiz. If I had one thing to say about the quizzes in general, it would be that maybe two of the answers should be close to the correct one to offer slightly more challenge to the learner. The conversion questions were all great. Also the extra links for learning further are a really useful addition.

Great job on the learning resource Alex!

My Personal Learning Challenge – Mountain Bike Maintenance – Post 5

During the last two weeks, besides doing the next set of maintenance learning tasks, I have also been going back over the systems I have already learned and started them again. In particular, the drive system. I have found that minor tweaks and adjustments are necessary to keep it running really smoothly. I am sure that without the prior learning I would not have even noticed the change and definitely wouldn’t have known what to look for to solve it. I am finding, lately, that I have been able to link symptoms to various bike parts, by sound or feel.

Last week I tackled the shifting system. For these last two weeks the focus was on the suspension system for week 1 and the last week focused on the miscellany that can’t really be set into one category. For the suspension system I decided to use a site called Wiggle and the specific page titled How to maintain your suspension fork. For the miscellaneous bits I visited a variety of sites and forums.

New Concepts Learned – Glossary
Suspension Fork: The two tine fork-like double shock apparatus on the front of a mountain bike.
External Dust Seal: This dust seal prevents grime getting into the top of the shock.
Shock Stanchion: This is the upper tube part of the shock that slides into the lower section.
Mudguards: These protect the shocks and the rider from dirt flung from the wheels. Some are made specifically to keep the stanchion clear of dirt.
Seat Stem: The bar coming from the bottom of the seat that slides into the frame of the bike.
Personal Protective Equipment(PPE): Encompasses all safety equipment necessary for a specific task. (e.g. helmets and pads for mountain biking)

The main theme when reading about maintaining the forks is to keep all the seals clean and clear of dirt. Below is a good example of a dirty and clean exterior dust seal on a set of forks. My bike didn’t have much in the way of dirt around the seals as I do mostly road riding in a city where rain washes the bulk of the dirt away. I did however notice that there was a little grease and dirt buildup on the left fork so I removed it with a cloth and water and it was back to new.

Dirty external dust seals can damage the stanchion as it slides into the lower assembly. Photo linked from Wiggle
Clean seals will prolong the life of the shock. Photo linked from Wiggle

As per the recommendations on the site I was learning from, I also tipped my bike up and let the oil, normally pooled in the bottom of the shocks, flow to lubricate the seals around the top. As I haven’t had my bike for long I didn’t end up pulling the fork apart as they had suggested. From my experience working on cars, I know that opening up a shock of any type can introduce dust and dirt very easily which can reduce the lifespan quickly.

For the random items mentioned in the task list I started out with seat adjustments and fenders. I found a site called RCUK – Beginner’s guide: how to set your saddle height on a road bike, which was very informative and made me realize that I had been riding with my seat much too low. A low saddle can result in poor power output and often discomfort or pain. After adjusting my seat for the first time, I realized that the optimal height couldn’t be reached with my current seat stem as it was too short. However, it made a big improvement on my ride comfort. I’ll have to head to the shop and look for a taller stem.

I purchased a fender for my back wheel and, with a little help from the provided instructions, was able to install it no problem. No more dirt stripes on my back during rain rides. Those two items were definitely the most important of the bunch and the others took but a few minutes to accomplish without any help form outside sources.

*Weekly Learning Tip – Pay attention to what the right way of doing something feels like, sounds like, etc. While doing the maintenance tasks I listened and felt what a properly tuned bike was like and later, when that tuning went off, I was able to pinpoint where the problem was and address it quickly.


Learning Challenge Job Breakdown

Job area and parts involvedTask breakdownOutcomes
Drive system: chain, sprocket sets, dérailleur, wheels, pedal cranks– hang bike upright
– remove the wheels
– remove cassette from dérailleur, clean and tighten
– clean front gear mechanism
– clean and tighten pedal crank shafts
Day one: ~50 minutes
– successful but long
Day two: ~25 minutes
– unsuccessful with inverted bike
Day three: ~20 minutes
– success and quick…for me
Braking system: brake discs, brake pads, cables, levers– check disc movement on spin
– clean discs
– check brake pads for wear
– tighten cables if necessary
– Ensure clean connection between lever and cable
– clean assemblies
Day one: ~18 minutes
– most time spent reading steps
Day two: ~20 minutes
– missed disc maintenance day 1
Day three: ~20 minutes
– successful mostly, little squeak left
Shifting system: handlebar shifting levers, cables– check shifting mechanisms for wear
– tighten cables if necessary
– clean assemblies
Day one: ~30 minutes
– the video was thorough, so I was too.
Day two: ~25 minutes
– pedaling sounded even better after this round
Day three: ~15 minutes
– caught a brake cable issue and tuned in less time.
Suspension system: front shocks, central shock, wheels, tires, spokes– check wheel movement on spin
– check front and rear shock extension
– check spokes are taut
– check tire pressure, condition
– clean assemblies
Day one: ~25 minutes
– most time letting the lubricant flow backup to top seals
Day two: ~25 minutes
– no changes
Day three: ~25 minutes
– same basic cleaning steps but also bought a bottle of fork specific cleaner to use.
Miscellaneous: seat, handlebars, fenders, reflectors, lights, personal protective equipment, kickstand– clean and reposition reflectors
– check handlebar connections are tight and true
– clean and check seat tilt and height, tighten assembly
– ensure fenders are straight and tight
– check batteries in lights, clean and reposition
– check helmet for damage, clean if necessary
– clean kickstand and check functionality
Day one: ~30 minutes
– adjusted the seat and went for a quick test ride.
Day two: ~20 minutes
– attached the rear fender, tried putting the seat down low and riding around. Was not very comfortable. Cleaned all reflectors and PPE.

My Personal Learning Challenge – Mountain Bike Maintenance – Post 4

This week I am tackling the shifting system. This may seem like too small of a section to do on its own but, as it turns out, this section is very important to get right. Further, my bike was experiencing a loss of gears 7, 14, and 21, so this section couldn’t have come at a better time.

Maintenance and trouble shooting will be done with a few different resources this week. The first, for addressing my loss of 3 gears, is two YouTube videos called How to Adjust a Rear Derailleur – Limit Screws & Indexing and How to Adjust Your Bike’s Gears for Maximum Shifting Performance. These two video address the issue of an improperly constrained derailleur and, as it turned out, this was my gearing issue.

New Concepts Learned – Glossary
Cog: A toothed gear that the chain rides on.
H-Limit Screw: adjustment screw for constraining up shifts so the chain does not jump past the smallest rear cog(high gear).
L-Limit Screw: adjustment screw for constraining down shifts so the chain does not jump past the largest rear cog(low gear).
B Screw Adjuster: adjustment screw for positioning the derailleur mechanism closer/farther from the cog cassette.
Indexing adjustment barrel: cable based adjustment barrel for collectively lining up the derailleur cogs with the rear cassette cogs.

Checking the shifting levers on the handlebar assembly, I noticed that the brake cables were not very tight and that one of them had pulled free from the seat. This catch was pretty obvious, however, I am finding that I am noticing maintenance needing to be done that was covered in previous learning weeks but already needs to be tackled again. Had I not done the previous maintenance lessons I would not have regarded the issues as problems so the information is definitely sticking in my brain. Repetition works.

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Figure 1: Cable pulled onto outer rim of connector; Seated properly

If I had to guess at this point which learning resource has been the most effective, of the ones I have used so far, I would have to say that this weeks video resource called How to Adjust a Rear Derailleur – Limit Screws & Indexing would be the one that I learned best from. My reasoning mostly comes from the quality, hands-on way of showing exactly what each part does and then how to use those parts to tune the overall system. The narrator is specific with his words and uses augmentations, to show exactly what to look for when making adjustments. [eg. Figure 2]

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Figure 2: Blue lines represent cogs and the orange is the chain which will line up when properly tuned.

Again this week, I wrote out a list of the small jobs mentioned in this video and then used them along with repeat viewings of the video to tackle the job 3 times. Lists definitely work to secure a set of ideas in my brain. When this list is linked with a great learning resource it works doubly so. On the third day I was able to do all adjustments without the use of a list or the videos, however, I did go back over them to ensure nothing was forgotten.

Earlier in the year, I had taken my bike to be professionally tuned at a bike shop here in town and when I picked it up and road it the next day, I noticed a few things were way off. That tune up cost $75.00 and left me with squeaking pedals and poorer shifting. After going through the set of tasks this week, I can identify the places where the problems were and now I can save myself the money as well. It pays to learn something well.

Next week – Suspension And Miscellaneous

*Weekly Learning Tip – Try making lists. They sure help me a lot and can always be saved for later if the need arises or the skills get dusty.


Learning Challenge Job Breakdown

Job area and parts involvedTask breakdownOutcomes
Drive system: chain, sprocket sets, dérailleur, wheels, pedal cranks– hang bike upright
– remove the wheels
– remove cassette from dérailleur, clean and tighten
– clean front gear mechanism
– clean and tighten pedal crank shafts
Day one: ~50 minutes
– successful but long
Day two: ~25 minutes
– unsuccessful with inverted bike
Day three: ~20 minutes
– success and quick…for me
Braking system: brake discs, brake pads, cables, levers– check disc movement on spin
– clean discs
– check brake pads for wear
– tighten cables if necessary
– Ensure clean connection between lever and cable
– clean assemblies
Day one: ~18 minutes
– most time spent reading steps
Day two: ~20 minutes
– missed disc maintenance day 1
Day three: ~20 minutes
– successful mostly, little squeak left
Shifting system: handlebar shifting levers, cables– check shifting mechanisms for wear
– tighten cables if necessary
– clean assemblies
Day one: ~30 minutes
– the video was thorough, so I was too.
Day two: ~25 minutes
– pedaling sounded even better after this round
Day three: ~15 minutes
– caught a brake cable issue and tuned in less time.
Suspension system: front shocks, central shock, wheels, tires, spokes– check wheel movement on spin
– check front and rear shock extension
– check spokes are taut
– check tire pressure, condition
– clean assemblies
Miscellaneous: seat, handlebars, fenders, reflectors, lights, personal protective equipment, kickstand– clean and reposition reflectors
– check handlebar connections are tight and true
– clean and check seat tilt and height, tighten assembly
– ensure fenders are straight and tight
– check batteries in lights, clean and reposition
– check helmet for damage, clean if necessary
– clean kickstand and check functionality

My Personal Learning Challenge – Mountain Bike Maintenance – Post 3


Last week I adjusted and cleaned my drive system. This week I focused my learning on the braking system. My newish mountain bike has a set of disc brakes with cables for actuation of the calipers. There are also hydraulically actuated calipers but, I won’t be covering the maintenance on those or the typical V-Brake setup. This round of maintenance checks the rotor (disc), pads, calipers, and cables for cleanliness, wear, and functionality. I realized after reading my last post that I didn’t focus as much of my writing on the learning aspect of maintaining a bike and too much on the actual maintenance procedure. In this post, I will try to write more about how my learning progressed and what I could do to help better it.

For this week of maintenance I will be using a SingleTracks page called How to service mechanical MTB disc brakes. This site is quite a bit more technical than wikiHow from my previous post was. The instructions cover more potential issues that could arise than the wikiHow info-graphic and give a very thorough walk-through of the steps. I was looking forward to tackling the braking system especially as lately the brakes have been starting to squeak pretty heavily. I haven’t had it for that long so I assumed that the pads couldn’t be worn already. Turns out they weren’t but, after reading the steps solved it with a pad and disc cleaning and a light pad sanding.

New Concepts Learned – Glossary
MTB: Mountain Bike.
Mechanical Brakes: Cable actuated braking system as opposed to hydraulic actuation.
Brake Lever: The handlebar mounted lever that engages the brakes.
Brake Pads: The portion of the brake assembly that makes contact with the rotating disc. Friction between this part and the disc slows the bike.
Disc/Rotor: The metal disc the brake pads clamp down on. Often perforated to allow for fast cooling.
Caliper: The caliper is the assembly that houses the pistons which push the pads onto the rotor.

Taking the braking assembly apart was actually not as challenging as I had anticipated. The most complicated part was following the cables through to the calipers to make sure I was disconnecting the proper one. After that it was just making sure the brake pads didn’t fall to the floor when pulling it all apart. On the first day I somehow missed the section describing the cleaning of the disc and decided that doing a more thorough first read through the instructions wouldn’t hurt.

I am definitely finding that, after tinkering with the drive system, I am more savvy with the way the bike is assembled and seem to be able to anticipate better the way the bike will come apart. Learning more already.

The first job was to do a quick inspection of how the system was working at that moment. I hung my bike again and spun the rear tire. Everything seemed to be working well. The wheel spun for a decent amount of time and I heard no issues in the brake assembly. I pulled the lever and the wheel locked as it should. I noticed, however, that I had to pull the lever all the way back to handle. While riding, and with my added weight on the bike, that probably wouldn’t work. I decided to try something new to remember this maintenance process a little better and I wrote it down to get it in my head to check that every time. I also found myself saying aloud the steps to do which I never really noticed that I did before. I checked the rest of the cabling and its functionality and didn’t see any issues.

After doing the preliminary spin check I removed the wheel and detached and pulled apart the braking assembly to get at the pads inside. From the squeaking I had heard while riding I anticipated some type of build-up or grunge to be obvious…it wasn’t. [add pad picture] I ended up still following the step on doing a little sanding and as it turns out that seemed to be the ticket. The reason why I don’t believe it was anything else was because this was the time I missed the disc cleaning so the only thing that really changed was the pads.

The next two sessions seemed to go as planned and on both I was able to go at it sans instructions. If I had to guess, I would say writing small summarized versions of the steps really helped. The actual site was filled with pictures and plenty of distracting text. Having a sheet with some basic steps and tips along with the muscle memory of doing it previously seemed to be all that I needed.

*Weekly Learning Tip – Read through instructions all the way before beginning. Write a short summarized list of the steps to tackle. Make notes next to the steps while working through to optimize them for the next time.


Learning Challenge Job Breakdown

Job area and parts involvedTask breakdownOutcomes
Drive system: chain, sprocket sets, dérailleur, wheels, pedal cranks– hang bike upright
– remove the wheels
– remove cassette from dérailleur, clean and tighten
– clean front gear mechanism
– clean and tighten pedal crank shafts
Day one: ~50 minutes
– successful but long
Day two: ~25 minutes
– unsuccessful with inverted bike
Day three: ~20 minutes
– success and quick…for me
Braking system: brake discs, brake pads, cables, levers– check disc movement on spin
– clean discs
– check brake pads for wear
– tighten cables if necessary
– Ensure clean connection between lever and cable
– clean assemblies
Day one: ~18 minutes
– most time spent reading steps
Day two: ~20 minutes
– missed disc maintenance day 1
Day three: ~20 minutes
– successful mostly, little squeak left
Shifting system: handlebar shifters, cables– check shifting mechanisms for wear
– tighten cables if necessary
– clean assemblies
Suspension system: front shocks, central shock, wheels, tires, spokes– check wheel movement on spin
– check front and rear shock extension
– check spokes are taut
– check tire pressure, condition
– clean assemblies
Miscellaneous: seat, handlebars, fenders, reflectors, lights, personal protective equipment, kickstand– clean and reposition reflectors
– check handlebar connections are tight and true
– clean and check seat tilt and height, tighten assembly
– ensure fenders are straight and tight
– check batteries in lights, clean and reposition
– check helmet for damage, clean if necessary
– clean kickstand and check functionality



My Personal Learning Challenge – Mountain Bike Maintenance – Post 2

My last post contained a variety of links to sites and forums useful for finding information on maintaining a mountain bike. The purpose of these sites was to give me an overview understanding of the jobs involved which I could then break down into sub-tasks and learn individually. Below is a table of the jobs and sub-tasks required for each job. I have divided the jobs up to run over the next 5 weeks. I will learn how to do a new job on the bike each week and cross reference all the relevant information for that specific job from the sites previously posted.

It has been a long time since I last owned or even rode a bike and some of the bike parts and lingo used I haven’t even heard of before, therefore, below is a new concept glossary which I will have in each of my posts to explain some concepts/lingo used in the job that week.

New Concepts Learned – Glossary
V-Brakes: The most typical brake pads that clamp down on the wheel rim. My bike has disc brakes but, it would be helpful to learn how to properly maintain this style as well.
Cassette: The set of sprockets on the rear wheel hub.

Dérailleur Mechanism: This is the part that switches the chain over to a new sprocket on the cassette. It has two cogs on it and flexes at two separate joints.
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The learning resource used this past week was wikiHow. I have used it before and really enjoy the info graphics they typically employ to describe steps. I will say that, in this case, the info graphics didn’t showcase the descriptions as well as I would have liked.

Figure 1: The image may look like some handlebar assemblies but, not mine.

There was, thus, a bit of guesswork to determine what some of the pictures were depicting. I did the same job 3 times during the week to teach myself the tasks involved really well.
This past week my job was to learn the ins and outs of maintaining the drive system of my bike. As I said previously, it has been a long time since I have had a bike and my last one was a BMX so it had one sprocket on the back and one next to the pedals. This new (for me) system has a set of sprockets called a cassette as well as a thingy called a dérailleur. The rear dérailleur keeps tension on the chain and allows the chain to easily swap between sprockets. Who knew?

I set aside 45 minutes to tackle this job the first time but I hope to have this time reduced to 10 or 15 minutes by the end of the week. The first task on day one was to find the best position for working on the bike as this week involved removing the tires. I wasn’t quite sure about removing all the brake/shifter assemblies on the handlebars as the wikiHow page instructed but, then read they suggest hanging the bike to allow gravity to keep the chain in the proper place while fiddling. On a side note, later in the week, I attempted to flip my bike over, after loosening and turning the handlebar tech, and low and behold my chain became jammed around the back cassette for a time as soon as tension was released. I won’t do that again.
Removing the wheels was actually a pretty basic job and the cassette and dérailleur came off easily. Definitely taking the time to look through the different parts and clean them before reattaching them helped me know how they function and the role they serve. What this knowledge didn’t solve for me was the balancing act of putting the rear assembly back together for the first time. In particular, dealing with the dérailleur while trying to hold the cassette in place and putting the chain on was trying. Similar to the Backwards Bicycle, though not nearly as difficult, I was just attempting it in the wrong way. What I learned on day 2 which made it so much easier was a better order of operations. First, pop the cassette on, then lay the chain around it, then place into the frame, put the dérailleur on, hand tighten hub nut, and finally organize chain properly onto the dérailleur before fully tightening.
The front sprocket set was more basic in design then the back assembly but for some reason I kept getting my fingers jammed between the sprocket teeth and the chain when I’d bump the pedal while working. I don’t recommend it.
On the last day of attempts everything seemed to go quite well. That may be because there wasn’t as much to do or because I had completed the tasks 2 times already. I’d like to think it was the latter.
Next week – Braking system maintenance

*Weekly Pro Tip – USE GLOVES. The gearing and chain use a very sticky lubricant which, as you can imagine, collects dirt and, when you have your hands all in it, getting it off, without heavy chemicals, takes some elbow grease. I should have known this, from working on vehicles but, then again, I didn’t really use gloves back then either. I will start though. Funny that wikiHow didn’t mention this at all.


Learning Challenge Job Breakdown

Job area and parts involvedTask breakdownOutcomes
Drive system: chain, sprocket sets, dérailleur, wheels, pedal cranks– hang bike upright
– remove the wheels
– remove cassette from dérailleur, clean and tighten
– clean front gear mechanism
– clean and tighten pedal crank shafts
Day one: ~50 minutes
– successful but long
Day two: ~25 minutes
– unsuccessful with inverted bike
Day three: ~20 minutes
– success and quick…for me
Braking system: brake discs, brake pads, cables, levers– check disc movement on spin
– clean discs
– check brake pads for wear
– tighten cables if necessary
– Ensure clean connection between lever and cable
– clean assemblies
Shifting system: handlebar shifters, cables– check shifting mechanisms for wear
– tighten cables if necessary
– clean assemblies
Suspension system: front shocks, central shock, wheels, tires, spokes– check wheel movement on spin
– check front and rear shock extension
– check spokes are taut
– check tire pressure, condition
– clean assemblies
Miscellaneous: seat, handlebars, fenders, reflectors, lights, personal protective equipment, kickstand– clean and reposition reflectors
– check handlebar connections are tight and true
– clean and check seat tilt and height, tighten assembly
– ensure fenders are straight and tight
– check batteries in lights, clean and reposition
– check helmet for damage, clean if necessary
– clean kickstand and check functionality

My Personal Learning Challenge – Post 1

Three weeks ago I purchased a mountain bike to ride to work. My reasoning for the purchase was twofold; get into better shape and stop driving or busing to work each day. I have to admit that I hadn’t ridden a bike in well over a decade and it was no small feat getting back in the saddle. After the first week, riding between the University of Victoria and the inner harbour downtown, the bike started making strange squeaks and rattles. I’m not a bike mechanic but, I have grown up working on my own cars, trucks, dirt bikes, etc. I decided to have a look and realized that bikes have many more parts than when I was a kid. This new bike has 21 gears on a 3/7 shift split meaning that the left gear toggle has 3 positions and the right has 7. The bike has disc brakes instead of the usual wheel clamps. The front forks have shocks and there is another shock mounted under the seat to allow the bike to fold slightly between the front and back giving the back end some upward movement. I’ll just say it was complicated and nothing like my BMX when I was 15.

I am not one to shy away from mechanical work, and as such, these squeaks and rattles have led me to choose my personal learning challenge. Over the next seven weeks, I will learn how to fully maintain a mountain bike of this particular setup. At the end of this learning period I intend to be capable of doing the task myself and describing how to do it to others in a straight forward manner.

After reading chapter 2 of Teaching in a Digital Age I found that I was a little confused on what type of learner I was, or rather, what type of learning method I preferred. I, immediately, thought I preferred the objectivist methodology as the field of computer science is so often a set of general rules, facts, and algorithms to learn and use in various situations. Soon, however, I realized that the stepped learning approach described in the section on cognitivism also applies to me, particularly, that by doing an activity that I have previously seen or read about I can further solidify that knowledge within myself. I am still having a bit of a difficult time differentiating the methodologies so bear with me on this.

My approach to learning proper bike maintenance after doing this week’s readings will be to go over a select set of documents on the best practices of bike maintenance, view the myriad info-graphics/pictorials/videos pertaining to bike repair for a more visual explanation, find and engage with people on relevant forums/blogs, and then attempt to divide the job into many small tasks and learn and document each one separately.

Potentially useful resources from my preliminary search:
www.wikihow.com/Maintain-a-Mountain-Bike
www.singletracks.com/blog/beginners/basic-bike-maintenance-for-beginners/
www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/bike-maintenance.html
www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/

I am choosing this approach to learning as it reflects what I believe is the constructivist methodology. The reason why I am trying this method is because it seems to be one that will fit this task best. Let me try to explain why I think this is so. As I see it, the constructivist approach attempts to build on knowledge the learner may already have. Using my previous vehicle mechanical aptitude as a foundation, I can add bike maintenance to my skillset. Further, constructivism utilizes projects to reinforce the learning and that has always helped me with these types of hands on tasks. I plan to break the entire job into small projects and sort those projects so that they build on each other where applicable. For example, cleaning and adding proper tension to the chain may require the handle bar shifters to be disconnected and tuned first which could be a separate task. The utilization of forums and blogs to engage knowledgeable people is not something I would normally do, however, I am interested to see if it will benefit me in any way to do so. The reason I would add this last avenue of learning is that the constructivist approach appears to include a level of social connection to vet ideas with other like-minded individuals.

I am excited to get started tackling this learning challenge and my first task will be to review the sites that lay out a process and divide the job into smaller tasks with a useful ordering to them.

Good luck to everyone in EDCI 335 on their learning challenges throughout these next six or so weeks.

Post 1 – Introductions

Hello everyone,

My name is Tyler. I am a 4th year computer science student at the University of Victoria. I am also working for a software company called LlamaZOO Interactive.

I’m originally from Prince George, moved to Vancouver, started bar tending and, five years later, obtained my real estate license…in 2008…the beginning of years of market downturn. It was a struggle, to say the least, trying to establish a foot hold in the market during that time. I held my license for four years before deciding to move on to something different. I had a friend who worked as a roughneck on a drilling rig in Alberta and he asked if I wanted to join him for a while. Why not! The money is pretty good and you work two weeks on and one week off. I ended up staying for two and a half years as a roughneck and then a motorman. Hard, hard, hard work. It beats you up.

After the drilling rig experience I decided I didn’t want to destroy my body any longer and started studying math and physics, online, at the Khan Academy, from the ground up. I took a few upgrading courses at SIDES and ended up getting into the engineering program at UVic. Early on in my first year, I realized I had an affinity for computer science after taking CSC 111 with Bill Bird. Following that course, I switched my major over and haven’t looked back since.

That’s my story in a nutshell. Oh and I am married to a wonderfully understanding wife with whom I have two loving and mischievous daughters.

My learning story actually took place when I was 9. I saw the movie Blood Sport and decided that I could teach myself how to do the splits across chairs. I really wanted to be able to do it but, in the beginning, finding the proper motivation and the right technique to use, was a little trying. I figured the only way that I was going to do it was to set myself a practice schedule. First, I tried doing it when I got home from school but, found I would quickly get bored or forget to do it.

My routine was a little lackluster for the first few weeks and then my father told me that I could probably keep myself on track if I did the required exercises while I was doing something else that happened regularly. This way I could keep a schedule just by doing the same thing I always had and then just add the exercises to it as well. That other activity turned out to be family movie/game nights and after school TV time. Family movie/game nights happened each Friday and while the activity was going on I could be set in the split position for the better part of two hours. Through the rest of the week I would do the splits any time the TV was on.

It took around three months but, at the end of that time I was able to do the sideways splits across two chairs. I was very proud of my persistence and finally realized the truth about practice and motivation.

Good luck to all in the course!