Combining Multiple Pedagogies to Boost Learning and Enthusiasm

Author : Pollock, Lori; Harvey, Terry
Booktitle : 16th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE)
Date : Jun 2011
Keyword(s) : computer science education, collaborative learning, studio-based classroom, service learning, reflective journaling
Document Type : In Conference Proceedings
BibTeX Entry : (show)

Abstract :

This paper describes the pedagogy we applied in a 5-week class, in which students taught themselves (and each other) a new language, new OS, GUI programming, and simple networking for collaborative games. They learned communication, negotiation, collaboration, presentation and teamwork skills; and project design and iterative development. We had four goals: increased learning, enthusiasm about CS, confidence in technical ability and communication skills. To achieve these goals, we decided to rely solely on the integration of teaching techniques that we believed would be highly effective: collaborative teams, student presentations, student critique of work, open-ended projects of student design, iterative process, journal reflection, and motivation through helping others. The students had to learn about each technique through discussion, modeling, and moderated practice. We focused on this process learning and trusted that the technical material would come from solving the (unspecified) assignments. This focus left no time for traditional teaching activities. We present quantitative and qualitative results from a student survey and the students’ reflective journals. Students reported learning at a greater rate than in other CS courses while maintaining (and in some cases acquiring) a high level of enthusiasm and confidence.

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