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An Approach to Integrating Learning and Engagement Strategies (LESs) into CS Class Activities

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Curriculum and Assessment I

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32057

Download Count

12

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Paper Authors

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Peter J. Clarke Florida International University

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Peter J. Clarke received his B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) in 1987, M.S. degree from SUNY Binghamton University in 1996 and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Clemson University in 2003. His research interests are in the areas of software testing, software metrics, model-driven software development, domain-specific modeling languages, and computer science education. He is currently an associate professor in the School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University. He is a member of the ACM (SIGSOFT, SIGCSE, and SIGAPP); IEEE Computer Society; and a member of the Association for Software Testing (AST).

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Debra Lee Davis Florida International University

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Dr. Debra Davis is an Instructor in the School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University. Her research interests emphasize interdisciplinary topics including understanding and improving: (1) Computer Science education, including increasing participation of women; (2) educational applications and techniques for online STEM learning; and (3) complex human-machine interactions. She has a Ph.D. and M.A., in Cognitive Developmental Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.S. in Computer Science from FIU.

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Ingrid A. Buckley Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Ingrid Buckley is an Assistant Professor in the Software Engineering Department at Florida Gulf Coast University. She holds a PhD (2012) in Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Buckley’s research interests include software engineering education, fault tolerant system design, cybersecurity and secure software development. She has authored several peer-reviewed conference and journal papers. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Cyber Florida. She collaborates with researchers at other universities nationwide, specifically in the areas of software engineering and cybersecurity pedagogy. Dr. Buckley is a member of the Upsilon Pi Epsilon, Golden Key International and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

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Geoff Potvin Florida International University

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Mandayam Thirunarayanan Florida International University

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Mandayam Osuri Thirunarayanan is an associate professor in the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD), in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education (CASE) at Florida International University, in Miami, Florida. He teaches courses in learning technologies at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. He also supervises doctoral dissertations. His research interests include distance education, cyber-learning, and videogames in education. He has proposed innovative and futuristic educational applications.

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Edward L. Jones Florida A&M University/Florida State University

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Edward L. Jones is Professor and Interim Chairman of the CIS Department at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida. He joined the faculty after 13 years as a software engineer at Harris Corporation. His SIGCSE 2001 paper, "Integrating testing into the curriculum - arsenic in small doses," proposed a vision for incorporating testing into the CS curriculum. He founded the FAMU Software TestLab, funded by federal and corporate grants for training software testing practitioners and researchers. He has directed master's theses in software testing and test automation. Born in North Carolina, he completed the B.S., summa cum laude, in Math from Johnson C. Smith University, the M.S. in Computer Science from Cornell, and the Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 1984. His research interests are software testing, technology transfer and CS education.

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Abstract

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015