June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Computing and Information Technology
The ubiquity of computing in the 21st century and the number of job vacancies has resulted in a surge in computer science (CS), information technology (IT) and software engineering (SE) majors at universities across the U.S. This surge has resulted in students with a variety of backgrounds and skill sets entering CS/IT/SE programs who may not be equally well prepared for these programs. To further complicate this challenge, many academic institutions are under pressure to improve their first-year retention rates and four year graduation rates. To overcome these challenges it is imperative that CS/IT/SE instructors make use of evidence-based pedagogical techniques to improve student learning in the classroom.
In this paper we present a model that uses learning and engagement strategies (LESs) to improve student learning in face-to-face (F2F) classes with the support of a cyberlearning environment. These LESs include collaborative learning, gamification, problem-based learning and social interaction. SEP-CyLE (Software Engineering and Programming Cyberlearning Environment) contains vetted learning content in the form of learning objects and tutorials, and can be configured to use various combinations of LESs. SEP-CyLE is an instance of STEM-CyLE (https://stem-cyle.cis.fiu.edu/), which can be instantiated for other STEM courses. We present our experiences using LESs in a software testing class using both F2F and online activities. A quantitative study conducted using different combinations of LESs in the F2F class shows the potentially positive impact of this approach in CS/IT/SE classes.
The main contributions of this work are as follows: 1. Provides an instructional model that can be used by instructors and researchers to determine which combinations of LESs and the context of how LESs are used in F2F and online activities to best improve student learning. 2. Illustrates how LESs are integrated into a CS class, specifically software testing, including the context of how the LESs are used. 3. Presents a study showing the initial results and the impacts on students of integrating LESs into the F2F class activities of a software testing class. It should be noted that although we describe our approach in the context of a software testing class, the approach can be used for any CS/IT/SE class provided there is adequate learning content in SEP-CyLE to support classroom instruction.
Clarke, P. J., & Davis, D. L., & Buckley, I. A., & Potvin, G., & Thirunarayanan, M., & Jones, E. L. (2019, June), An Approach to Integrating Learning and Engagement Strategies (LESs) into CS Class Activities Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32057
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