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Effective Course Redesign Strategies to Integrate Collaborative PBL in Senior Computer Engineering/Computer Science Courses

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.454.1 - 24.454.14



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Paper Authors

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Jianyu Dong California State University, Los Angeles

author page

Huiping Guo California State University, Los Angeles

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Effective Course Redesign Strategies to Integrate Collaborative PBL in Senior Computer Engineering/Computer Science CoursesThe ability to solve real-world problems and design systems or components under realisticconstraints is essential to engineering and CS graduates, as both mandated by ABET and highlyvalued in professional practice. To help students develop such valuable skills, project-basedlearning (PBL) has been considered as a useful pedagogy by many engineering/CS educators.However, it is also recognized that PBL may not always function if not designed and integratedin the curriculum appropriately. This challenge magnifies at commuter campuses where studentshaving difficulty coming together to work on the projects. During the past three years, CSULAfaculty team worked collaboratively to develop CPBL-beyond-Classroom pedagogy that hasproved to be effective to enhance student learning on commuter campus. As an extension toCPBL (a specific PBL model developed by the PI and her colleague to address the retentionissues of minority students in their freshman/sophomore year), CPBL-beyond-Classroom has anumber of unique features that lead to highly scalable and open-structured design with anemphasis on collaborative learning and community inquiry in a remote fashion. Iterativeclassroom implementation and assessment demonstrated that CPBL-beyond-Classroom modelhelped to achieve associated knowledge and skills outcomes, particularly among under-preparedminority students.This paper presents the CPBL-beyond-Classroom pedagogy model and describes how it can beintegrated into undergraduate computer networking curriculum effectively. We will share thelessons learned in our course redesign process and introduce effective implementation strategiesto address challenges related to how to balance theory and hands-on activities, how to betterprepare students for hands-on projects, how to address diverse student backgrounds, as well asefficiency issues of online/remote collaboration. Concrete examples of course redesign withweekly in-class and after-class instructional activities will be provided in the paper and theredesign principles can be applied to other engineering/CS courses. In addition, the paper willinclude longitudinal study results based on 3-year assessment data to highlight the pedagogicalimpact on various student learning outcomes. Analysis of student responses from differentethnical groups will be presented to allow educators who are interested to adopt CPBL-beyond-Classroom to redesign their courses to better address the learning needs of their own students.

Dong, J., & Guo, H. (2014, June), Effective Course Redesign Strategies to Integrate Collaborative PBL in Senior Computer Engineering/Computer Science Courses Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20345

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