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Investigate Demonstrate Automate

IDA (Investigate Demonstrate Automate) is a practical approach to IT education and training consistent with both the realities of the modern IT industry and the demands of TAFE curriculum and assessment. I am developing this approach for use in technically-oriented Cert IV and Diploma units (as opposed to business-oriented and other units, for which it is not so relevant) in Moodle.

The approach can be summarised as follows:

Investigate

Demonstrate

Automate

The Demonstrate and Automate phases can overlap or be delivered concurrently. This way, practical tasks can be “codified” in code as each step is completed, allowing direct comparison between manual and automated procedures. Either way, the main goal is that students learn that tasks performed laboriously and in an error-prone manner in a GUI or on a CLI can usually be re-implemented with a few crisp lines of code in a script.

This approach is not particularly ground-breaking or revolutionary. It mostly just reflects the reality of how problems are solved in the modern IT industry. What it does add to more traditional approaches to training and assessment is the notion of code as documentation and assessment.

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