Daytona Beach, Florida
August 6, 2017
August 6, 2017
August 8, 2017
Diversity and FYEE Conference - Works in Progress Submission
Introductory programming courses can be very challenging, leading to students being disengaged and having difficulty relating the material to their specific area of study. We hypothesize that a student-centered project will lead to greater student motivation, satisfaction, and opportunity to excel. The newly designed final project uses the same programming and computation tools taught in the course and challenges students to analyze large sets of data. A pilot implementation occurred during Fall 2016 across three sections of the course, with different instructors involving, slightly different requirements and assignment structures. Based on instructor assessment and student feedback, revisions were made to the structure of the project and it was rolled out to both the sections in Winter 2017. To ensure consistency, both sections were team taught by the same two instructors. The new final project consists of multiple group and individual assignments. Assignments are staggered to not only ensure that groups are progressing successfully toward an effective final product, but also that all team members are making significant contributions. Due to the positive feedback received so far, for Fall 2017 we will be employing pre- and post- surveys to quantify if and how the project impacts students’ motivation. One goal of this activity is to create a framework for group projects to engage and motivate students that can be easily implemented in other courses or at other universities.
Whitehead, T., & Potoff, J. (2017, August), Self Directed Projects to Increase Engagement and Satisfaction in Basic Programming Course Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/29433
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