Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Community Engagement Division
We have developed a program to teach an introduction to computer programming course in the local county jails. We have taught the course twice, once at the women's jail and once at the men's jail. We were assisted by University X students. The course is based off of the first four weeks of a computer science course taught in Python at University X. The students gained an understanding of fundamental programming concepts: loops, booleans, if-else statements. They also learned to communicate using Python syntax. Our goals were to empower the students with technology and give them tools to create a project that they could be proud of. We teamed with a local nonprofit to implement this program. The nonprofit managed jail orientations, security clearance, and scheduling for us. This collaboration was very fruitful for many reasons, one of which was that they helped us prepare for jail specific challenges.
In this paper we describe our unique program and the challenges that come with teaching computer programming in the jail setting. We discuss some teaching methods that worked and some that didn't. We address how to include undergraduate students in this rewarding program. We discuss our future plans and goals.
Migler-VonDollen, T. A., & Schlemer, L. T. (2018, June), Engagement in Practice: Teaching Introductory Computer Programming at County Jails Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30392
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