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Active and Cooperative Learning in an Introductory Computer Science Course

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Active and Cooperative Learning in an Introductory Computer Science Course Dr. Cheryl A. Dugas * * * * * * * Talk Format Active and Cooperative Learning Application ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Active and Cooperative Learning in an Introductory Computer Science Course


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 LEARNINGTheoretical 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 days DQ
    together

9
IN-CLASS TEAM ACTIVITIES
  • 10 - 20 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 days 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 didnt 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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