We Created Free, Open Resources for Intro to C Students

From the work of Jerrett Longworth, Nicole Zolnier, and other invaluable supporters and TAs, Wiki Knights has created a repository of free and publicly accessible resources for Introduction to C Programming (COP 3223) at UCF.

These materials began development in Fall 2020 as a personal side project by TAs to give students more support and help in their class. This mainly involves additional practice problems and small tutorials. After seeing the amount of positive feedback from students each semester, the problem set and resources continued to grow and were eventually taken under the umbrella of Wiki Knights to formalize and publish.

In Fall 2022, we felt these resources were ready to be used by students, and were allowed to test-run the resources with Dr. Andrew Steinberg’s course, taken by over 500 students. He has shown support for the project and the exposure it has gotten this semester would not have been possible without him.

At the end of the semester, we ran a survey to get insight into students’ thoughts on our materials, and we received great feedback. The following show some of the results gathered. Note that some of the answers given were unrelated to the materials this survey was investigating, as the survey additionally applied to the course as a whole.

How have these materials helped you in your classes?
Total number of answers: 194

  • Helped to understand concepts: 40
    • “They helped me understand more about the lessons learned in class with examples that were straight forward and showing.”
  • Helped with practice: 24
  • Gave Examples: 20
    • “By looking at other additional examples and learn more about the different scenarios of different codes to learn more about their nature.”
  • “Yes”: 18
  • N/A: 18
  • Help with Exams: 11
    • “Most of the material did help when preparing for the exams if I used them. I didn’t know where these materials were located until the end of the course. The materials he went over in class and in the lab were beneficial to prepare for the exams and even when coding for small programs and large programs.”
  • Helped to study: 10
  • Helpful: 4
  • Worked as reminders of materials: 4
  • They didn’t help: 4
    • “they didn’t help that much”
  • Helped with syntax: 4
    • “help me remember syntax and refresh my memory.”

What would you like to see changed/added?
Total number of answers: 154

  • No change/nothing: 28
  • N/A: 19
  • More:
    • Practice questions: 17
      • “more practice questions specific to each exam”
    • Info on arrays: 8
    • Examples: 7 
    • Review: 5
    • Explanation of dynamic allocation: 5
      • “I would like to see more drawings of concepts dealing with dynamic memory and the buffer. But overall I think everything was good.”
    • In-depth info: 2
    • Linked lists: 2
    • Content with fundamentals
  • Videos: 8
    • “It would be nice to have exam review sections if possible. Videos for learning about different topics would be really great as well — I find myself sometimes watching YouTube videos that teach unrelated content (like realloc).”

Would you want to see free and open materials like these for other courses? (Including courses you have already taken or future courses.) Feel free to list courses.
Total number of answers: 207

  • Yes: 124
  • Calculus: 12
  • Computer Science (1 & 2): 54
  • Chemistry: 5
  • Statistics: 5
  • STEM: 4
  • Trigonometry: 2
  • Introduction to Discrete Structures: 4
  • Pre-calculus: 1

Do you believe free and open materials like these could replace paid textbook and homework solutions? Feel free to elaborate why or why not.
Total number of answers: 219

  • Yes: 145
  • No: 17
  • N/A: 16
  • Neutral: 14

Intro to C Materials: https://wikiknights.github.io/cs-materials/intro-to-c

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