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Active and Cooperative Learning in an Introductory Computer Science Course Dr. Cheryl A. Dugas.

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Presentation on theme: "Active and Cooperative Learning in an Introductory Computer Science Course Dr. Cheryl A. Dugas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Active and Cooperative Learning in an Introductory Computer Science Course Dr. Cheryl A. Dugas

2 Talk Format Active and Cooperative Learning Application to Introductory Computer Science Course

3 ACTIVE LEARNING Learners are active participants in learning, rather than recipients of knowledge Student is a partner, with the instructor, in creating knowledge Deeper learning, longer retention Teacher as “Guide on the Side” (no longer the “Sage on the Stage”)

4 COOPERATIVE LEARNING: Theoretical Basis Nearly 700 studies since 1898 Based on 3 premises:  Respect for individual differences  Social activity with sense of community  Learning is an active and constructive process

5 COMPONENTS Positive interdependence  Team members rely on one another to achieve common goal Face-to-face interaction  Do most of work together, provide encouragement and feedback Individual accountability and personal responsibility  Each team member must do share of work, master all materials Interpersonal and small-group skills  Must use effective communication and conflict management Group processing  Set common goals, reflect on accomplishments, make adjustments

6 Talk Format Active and Cooperative Learning Application to Introductory Computer Science Course

7 CS1 ACTIVE LEARNING PILOT Intro to JAVA in a UNIX environment 2 2-hour classroom sessions  Traditional classroom - students at small tables  Instructor station with computer hookup and projector  Overhead projector and portable opaque projector  Short lecture sessions, using PowerPoint and whiteboard, interspersed with active learning activities 1 2-hour laboratory session  Computer lab  Lab assignments were distinct from classroom work  Separately administered and graded

8 TEAM STRUCTURE 4 member teams, assigned by instructor Heterogeneous groups (after exam 1)‏  Studies show these groups function better than random or student-selected groups  That was true in this class as well Pocket folder for each team  Distribute daily quiz (DQ) and other class materials  Pass back DQ  Teams began class by reviewing previous day’s DQ together

9 IN-CLASS TEAM ACTIVITIES minute programming activity  On transparencies, or  On paper, projected via opaque projector, or  On paper, then written on whiteboard by a team member Teams work cooperatively  To prevent “slackers”, the instructor would select the team member who would present the results, so all had to be prepared to present Instructor and class aide circulate to monitor and to answer questions Instructor demonstrates working solution using computer and projector All solutions (to programs and DQ) posted to class website at end of class

10 ACTIVITY EXAMPLES Short:(array)‏

11 ACTIVITY EXAMPLES Longer: (selection)‏

12 ACTIVITY EXAMPLE Longer, builds on previous (Loop)‏

13 ACTIVITY JAVA

14 ACTIVITY DEMO

15 DAILY QUIZ (DQ)‏ Part of “Test-First Teaching” (Ardis & Dugas)‏  Assessment materials are created before lectures are designed DQ highlights the important points to be covered in the day’s class DQ is distributed at the beginning of the class Students complete DQ during class  Class activities may be suspended at times to allow students to complete a question  Students are encouraged to consult one another in answering DQ DQ can be used as study aid for exams

16 DQ EXAMPLE

17 STUDENT RESPONSE Short feedback form on usefulness of in-class exercises and DQs  Nearly all students found one or both helpful DQs  Useful in keeping attention focused on material being discussed  Helpful in understanding new concepts  Useful as a study/review aid In-class activities  Appreciated the ability to learn with their teammates  “If I didn’t know something, my partner would, and vice- versa.”

18 CONCLUSION Surprisingly easy to implement these techniques More enjoyable for all involved than a traditional lecture-only course.

19 Questions?


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