New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Computing & Information Technology
This paper describes initial findings of an NSF funded project under the Research Initiation Grant in Engineering Education (RIGEE) program. The project applied theory and methods of second language acquisition (SLA) to teach an introductory programming course in engineering. The project began in fall 2015 with seven engineering sections, 3 of which were SLA-enabled (SLA) and 4 that were taught in a standard blended-learning format (non-SLA). The SLA sections used 6 innovative, self-paced videos to facilitate student learning in 4 topics, as well as integrating techniques into classroom teaching that have been shown to be effective in second language acquisition. These cognitive techniques included focusing on a continuum of learning from preproduction to advanced fluency. As students progressed across the continuum, they were exposed to materials in different ways specific to their fluency level. In the pre-production phase, for example, learning was accompanied by visual representations and moderated online discussions, while at the intermediate level a ‘think, pair, share’ technique was used during labs. Intermediate fluency was accomplished through homework and advanced fluency was achieved by an open-ended project at the end of the semester. The current presentation presents the results of the fall 2015 assessment of learning effectiveness in the course, and will compare SLA course sections to non-SLA sections. Objective and subjective measures of effectiveness were collected and analyzed. Objective measures included student grades, and their discussion board postings. Subjective measures included students’ perceptions of workload associated with specific class topics, as well as motivation related to those topics.
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