'16-'17 General Discussion for Lesson 1.6

Use this thread to discuss your questions and comments about how to run the lesson.

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So there is nothing in the teacher materials that actually gives a clue as to what kind of protocol is expected. I know there is no single correct answer, but a hint as to what is expected of the protocol would be helpful. I assume that one number of a coordinate pair will be sent at a time - first X, then Y, then X2, Y2, etc. Should there be a start of transmission and end of transmission as part of the protocol? The questions asked in the lesson seem to imply that there needs to be some definitive way to determine that the numbers are finished sending. Too many of these lessons are lacking in guidance for the teacher. If anyone has thoughts on what an appropriate solution for this activity should look like, please share it.


Hi @ericsabatella,

We actually intentionally leave out suggested protocols from the lesson plan because it suggests there is a right or wrong answer to the protocols students are developing. A right answer here is just something that works and allows the partners to communicate over the internet simulator and successfully have the receiver recreate the image.

Different groups come up with different cool strategies to do this. You are right that some groups do as you said and send x,y coordinates for the points 1 at a time in order of connections. However where they put 0,0 on their grid often differs. In addition I’ve seen groups come up with a way to number each intersection on the grid with just one number and then they only have to send that one number to show where each dot goes.

These are just a couple ideas of what students might come up with and I bet your students might come up with something that I haven’t listed here. The important thing is that they create a protocol that allows them to send the information. You can always challenge students to go further and consider how to make their protocol shorter or how to make it easily adaptable to larger grid sizes.

Hope that helps clarify things.



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Thanks, that is helpful. I guess I am getting hung up on the word “protocol”, which generally implies that there is some kind of control characters or handshaking that is happening as part of the transmission. I am pretty sure we are not yet at that point in the lessons where the students need to get to that level of complexity in their “protocol”. As long as the sender and receiver agree on what numbers and what format (ordered pairs, intersection point) they are going to send, in a defined chunk size, that should be satisfactory. Also, since the activity rules stipulate that all numbers are to be sent in a single message, the number of points to be plotted can be variable. Thanks again.

@ericsabatella - You bring up a good point about good protocols which is addressed in the second half of Unit 1 - Once students get into packets they start talking about how to give the thumbs up that everything was received. It might be helpful to check out a Lessons 10 and 11 form Unit 1 to see how this starts to come up.

Would it be possible to put the video separate or in addition instead of just in the lobby? That way, students can see it without going into the lobby. This helps them when they are absent and didn’t get to participate in the class activity.

I’ll look into doing this, however we want to make sure that for most students their first experience is in the simulator. Typically when we promote videos to standalone status they are more high-production-value concept videos as opposed to tutorials on how to use the tools.

Worst case you can just get the youtube link and provide to the student(s) as well.

CSP Team

This year I decided to let the protocols “slide” for the first few lessons just to get students more comfortable with the technology (chromebooks, code.org, and google classroom) and to focus on the other content in the lessons. For this lesson I forced students to come up with the most detailed protocols they could. It wasn’t pretty.

SO… I am going to back track a bit tomorrow. I am planning on putting up these three protocols (students created them) and ask students what is “good, better, and best” out of the three and then say what they like or would change about each of them. Then, I am going to have the whole crew go back and re-work their protocol as homework for the night. Hopefully the text protocol will run a bit more smoothly then!

Here were 3 student’s responses to the protocol.

I love the diversity of thought here, BUT the explanation could be a lot better.


I would agree that I did not spend as much time on writing and sharing protocols. I walked around checking until I knew 2 or 3 groups were heading in a good direction. Then we stopped to talk about special formats like phone numbers, zip codes and addresses. Since they all have had to do bubble sheets for tests, we talked about scantrons and why they are used. The protocols were better after that. I think I might develop a question that requires them to read and use a protocol. I may even get my drama teacher to help with a ‘game’.



If this already occurs I apologize in advance.
Was any thought given to showing the explained answers to the multiple choice formative assessments after the students have selected the correct answer in case they simply guessed and did not understand how to do the question in reality. We go over the questions the next day but I thought the students might have more informed questions about a lesson if they saw the explanations and process the information first.


Hi @bbinkley

Thanks for the feedback. Its an interesting idea. We have not explored it yet because we haven’t had a way to lock down assessments previous. Its something we will consider as we look to make improvements to assessments in the future.

Thanks again for the feedback!

CSP Team

Any thought about a short video showing an example from start to finish? Starting with explanation of the activity, then plotting, then using the simulator? Seeing it would be extremely helpful to me also!

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Are there any answer keys? I don’t trust myself and want to make sure the answers are correct!

There aren’t answer keys to the protocols. The protocols are just the rules to govern the communication. For this lesson all I am looking for is:

  1. Do they address the chunk size issue
  2. Do they send ordered pairs of numbers and define what they mean (tell me where 0,0 is on the chart, pair in X,Y order, etc)
  3. Do I know how to send them a drawing with just the rules they gave me