Perhaps the author is trying to make a point about the different levels of knowledge acquisition and different learning styles of students? When I received my teaching certificate from Georgia Tech, during the course of study, we learned about Bloom’s Taxonomy (Bloom’s Taxonomy | Center for Teaching | Vanderbilt University), which describes “depth” of learning. Students begins at the bottom, memorizing facts, rules and concepts, and as they progress further up the learning spectrum, they reach a level of application, wherein they can begin to apply knowledge they’ve gained at prior stages. Eventually, with enough time spent, they will begin to make logical connections between things they’ve learned across domains, and they begin to formulate their own hypotheses.
For some learning styles, certain individuals retain more information or “learn better” when they apply the knowledge (i.e. at the “apply” phase in the taxonomy). The act of “doing” is the means by which they learn best. So for many students, sitting in a chair listening to the formulas, postulates, theorems, and corollaries being read aloud, is boring, because that particular student doesn’t gather information and learn well using that particular information channel (in this case, aurally). Listening to facts recited orally or reading a textbook is not how they absorb information best. Instead, they gravitate toward learning about those concepts by doing, which is why programming with robots is so valuable. The robot brings these concepts to life, and the contextual information surrounding the robot helps crystallize the knowledge for students of a particular learning style.
Good teachers design their classroom exercises to reach students who are at all levels of the taxonomy and who learn by leveraging their dominant style of learning. Thus, redundancy in information delivery when teaching is critical to reaching all your students. To phrase it differently, all information should be taught using all available channels: aurally, visually, textually, verbally, graphically, physically, etc.
More information on learning styles can be found here (https://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/)
My point is that the class is successful when the students have learned the concepts that the class set out to teach to them. The students may simply be bored with their robots because these students have moved on to a different level in the taxonomy. If that’s true then both Chris and the teacher are correct. The teacher is right because the class was successful and the students now understand what he wanted to teach them. And Chris is right because the teacher needs to recognize when his students need education at a new level of the taxonomy, and present them with new challenges at the higher levels of learning.