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Improving Student Learning Through Required Exposure to Other Students' Code via Discussion Boards

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Software Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34799

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34799

Download Count

153

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Paper Authors

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Kyle D. Feuz Weber State University

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Kyle Feuz is an Associate Professor at Weber State University in the School of Computing. He earned his Ph.D from Washington State University under the guidance of Dr. Diane Cook in 2014. He also received his B.S and M.S in Computer Science from Utah State University in 2010 and 2011, respectively. He is actively engaged in research in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Security and Computer Science education.

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Linda DuHadway Weber State University

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Linda DuHadway has been in higher education for many years. She has degrees from Utah State University and received a PhD from the University of Utah with a focus in Computer Science Education. She is actively engaged in bringing a variety of innovative teaching methodologies into the traditional and online classroom. Currently her focus is implementing a new program called CS Flex. CS Flex offers a creative way to minimize the time barriers of higher education. It includes mastery learning, open entry, and flexible completion including support for accelerated progress.

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Hugo Edilberto Valle Weber State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7079-4692

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Dr. Hugo Valle is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Weber State University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics in 2008 and MSc. in Physics in 2006, both from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN). His research interests are in IoT devices, Data Visualization, Software Development for particle detectors, sensors, microelectronics, and embedded systems. Previously, he was a member of the PHENIX collaboration at RHIC.

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Richard C. Fry Weber State University

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Richard Fry is a full professor at Weber State University in the School of Computing. He is actively involved in service-learning research and continues to partner with both local and global community organizations to engage Computer Science students in building sustainable Software Engineering projects. In 2014, his students took 2nd place in a national competition for their software solution supporting people with disabilities. Dr. Fry has also led more than 150 of his students to both Ghana and Thailand to work on Software Engineering projects affecting their global communities. He currently serves as the faculty in residence for the Center of Community Engaged Learning at Weber State University.

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Kim Marie Murphy Weber State University

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Prof. Kim Murphy earned her M.S. degree from Utah State in 2010. Starting in 2018, Prof. Murphy was an Instructor at Weber State University in the department of Computer Science. From 1999 to 2018 she taught Computer Science classes at Weber High School.

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Abstract

In a typical lower-division programming course, students rarely see other students’ code outside of a paired programming exercise. This limits their exposure to the potentially powerful learning experience of seeing examples from other programmers. In this work, we explore the result of having required code sharing via discussion posts to increase a student’s exposure to coding solutions, styles and practices (both good and bad). For each module in a Data Structures and Algorithms course, students post a small section of code, typically a single method or function, and also get to see the code posted from every other student in the class. They can choose to share a section of code that worked particularly well for them or submit code they are struggling with and want some help. The students are then required to respond to entries posted by other students. This creates a dialog between students and provides a mechanism for students to see how other students are coding a solution. The code students submit is from a low-stakes assignment. Students are allowed to see other student’s submissions from the very beginning. They are not required to have completed the assignment or posted their own code to enter the discussion board. To identify the benefits of this assignment, the comments during one semester are analyzed and the results tracked over the course of the semester. The code posted is analyzed for a variety of quality markers such as variable names, commenting, syntax errors, logic errors, correctness, and handling of edge cases. The responses are analyzed for effective error corrections, alternative solutions provided, formatting changes recommended, etc. There is also an analysis of student expressions. Finally, and perhaps most interesting of all is how these details change over the course of the semester.

Feuz, K. D., & DuHadway, L., & Valle, H. E., & Fry, R. C., & Murphy, K. M. (2020, June), Improving Student Learning Through Required Exposure to Other Students' Code via Discussion Boards Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34799

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