FIRST Badges - Programming FEEDBACK REQUESTED

Hi everyone! Thanks to @aph5 , I was able to construct the 4 badges for the FIRST badging system with the intention of using if for my team. This is not official but an attempt to help our programmers along as they continue through the program (programming badges are not provided on firstbadges.com). I have attempted to use Bloom’s Taxonomy as an outline, as FIRST asks us to do, and I’m wondering if I did that correctly.

I would appreciate any feedback you have. I’ve linked the documents below with comment access, so feel free to let me know what you think!

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The focus on command-based in level 3 & 4 nullifies this project’s usefulness for teams using non-command-based.

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That’s true, what would you suggest fills the space of those requirements? I am so used to seeing teams using command-based after a certain point.

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There are two ways I see of doing it. First is replacing the requirement with a more helpful measurement of learning that can be applied to any setup. The second is having two different pathways, so the requirements involve either doing command-based or other.

Absolutely, I was thinking of offering different paths. I meant to say, what would you specifically put there? The WPI docs basically lead into command-based which is why I really used it.

To add on to the above, I agree that having such a sole focus on Command-Based is doing a large disservice to those teams that do not make use of it, and can also force students into a mindset of believing Command-Based to be the only option. However, I do believe having Command-Based be required at at-least some level, its a very useful thing, as it forces the student to learn more about the options available to them.

Personally, I’d say to leave Level 3 either largely unchanged, OR add more requirements to include BOTH Command-Based and Timed Robot Understanding and expand the compare and contrasting criteria. Regardless of which you go for though, I’d also leave out the and evaluate the advantages the former has. bit as this does give the connotation that Command-Based is ‘better than Timed Robot’, which is both wrong and antithetical to the goal of expanding knowledge for the badge participant.

Now level 4 is a different beast. and personally I’d say “reduce” the first requirement to simply “Program a full Competition Robot” and don’t include any requirement of Command-Based or TimedRobot.

For the second Level 4 requirement, I say we turn that into “Advanced Robot Programming” and change it into another “Pick One” to “expand” the base competition robot code requirement above, and have Command-Based and Non-CB options.

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I’d like to throw out my team’s approach to this as well, just as an example to draw from. I saw your original post on badges and got my team interested in using something like it as a training motivational approach. I’d had a similar loose system for programming that I’d developed a few years ago and put it together into something more structured as a result. It follows the pedagogical approach from Bloom (as much as I could) as well. I’m already taking a few ideas from yours to add to ours.

Reading through the critiques offered in previous posts, I’d say that the same critiques could be leveled at my approach; it’s Java oriented, Command-based oriented and also I’ve really tuned it to what I think would best fit our particular team culture and resources. (https://www.tigerdynasty.org/wiki/) However, those aspects really could be stripped away and replaced with “your team’s” preferred language (Labview/C++/Java/Python/ROS/Kotlin/etc) and simply learning your own team’s robot design patterns and approach. I’ve drawn from other resources that I’ve come across over the years, but also wanted it really heavily rooted it in having the students learn directly from docs.wpilib.org.

There’s such a wide array of possible approaches to programming that it’s hard to capture it in a general badge program without stripping away so much that it just becomes very amorphous and hard to use directly. This requires teams to really ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ for their own approach, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. There’s definitely a trade-off between that and having something everyone can commonly use without adaptation, though.

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I attempted to incorporate all the suggestions that were given above. This was going to be for our team to use based on our experience and success in the past. I’m happy I can change it for a general template for any team to use, I am just unsure of how possible that is but I’m going to do my best! Let me know what you think of the changes:

As it was said before, there is a wide array of possible approaches to programming. I hope we can make something that new teams could pick up and use as a template for improving their team. Then each team can modify it for their uses. After all, these are not FIRST official and you won’t be able to present levels 3 and 4 anyways.

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