Edward Hartono teaching Python programming at the University of Delaware, focusing on business applications and effective learning strategies
July 1, 2024

Course Spotlight: how to set up an Introduction to Python course

In 30 seconds...

We spoke to Edward Hartono about how he teaches introductory Python programming. Learn all about his innovative approach combining frequent assessment, engaging methods and a strong emphasis on practice.

Mastering Python Programming in Business

Designing an introductory programming course tailored for business applications requires a blend of foundational knowledge and practical application. We spoke with Edward Hartono, an assistant professor in Management Information Systems at the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics, part of the University of Delaware. He told us about his approach to teaching Introduction to Programming in Python, offering valuable guidance for educators aiming to balance technical skill development with real-world business applications.

Course Objectives and Structure

Edward Hartono’s course focuses on building programming skills in Python. The primary learning objective is to make students comfortable writing code and tackling various programming challenges confidently. “I want to make sure that they have a strong foundation so that they can confidently use programming skills in more advanced classes and real-world applications, like when they do an internship" Hartono explains.

Assessment Strategy and Assignments

Hartono emphasizes the importance of regular practice through frequent assessments. His course includes an assessment in every class, amounting to several throughout the term. "I believe practice makes perfect. If they just do all of the assignments, they'll get something out of it," he notes. These assessments are primarily formative, focusing on smaller bits and pieces of knowledge. However, towards the end of each module, Hartono assigns more comprehensive tasks that pull together all the learned concepts, serving as summative assessments.

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Effective Learning Methods

Hartono believes that students learn best through active engagement and consistent practice. "There is no better way to learn skills but by doing it," he asserts. He keeps students engaged by mixing things up with various challenging assignments, which not only maintain interest but also encourage interaction among students and between students and the instructor.

Engagement Techniques

To foster a collaborative learning environment, Hartono encourages students to help each other. "Encourage them to help their classmates because helping others helps them understand the materials better. If they can explain it to their classmates, it means they understand it" he explains. This peer interaction is a crucial part of his teaching strategy.

Advice for New Educators

When asked for advice for new teachers, Hartono emphasizes the importance of building relationships with students. "Getting to know your students is important. If your students feel that you pay attention to them and care about them as a person, they feel more comfortable and committed to learning," he advises. For teaching programming, he underscores the necessity of practice. "If you want to learn how to swim, there is no other way but to jump into the pool and just do it. The same applies to programming."


By combining frequent assessments, engaging teaching methods, and a strong emphasis on practice, Hartono ensures that his students develop a solid foundation in Python programming. His focus on building relationships and fostering a collaborative learning environment further enhances the educational experience, preparing students for both advanced studies and real-world applications.

Evie Christopher

Evie Christopher

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Meet Evie, the powerhouse driving our business development. When she's not showcasing CodeGrade's top-notch quality to universities, she's keeping up with the latest Reality TV gossip.

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