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Can peer instruction be effective in upper-division computer science courses?

Can peer instruction be effective in upper-division computer science courses? Can Peer Instruction Be Effective in Upper-Division Computer Science Courses? CYNTHIA BAILEY LEE, University of California, San Diego SATURNINO GARCIA, University of San Diego LEO PORTER, Skidmore College Peer Instruction (PI) is an active learning pedagogical technique. PI lectures present students with a series of multiple-choice questions, which they respond to both individually and in groups. PI has been widely successful in the physical sciences and, recently, has been successfully adopted by computer science instructors in lower-division, introductory courses. In this work, we challenge readers to consider PI for their upper-division courses as well. We present a PI curriculum for two upper-division computer science courses: Computer Architecture and Theory of Computation. These courses exemplify several perceived challenges to the adoption of PI in upper-division courses, including: exploration of abstract ideas, development of high-level judgment of engineering design trade-offs, and exercising advanced mathematical sophistication. This work includes selected course materials illustrating how these challenges are overcome, learning gains results comparing these upper-division courses with previous lower-division results in the literature, student attitudinal survey results (N = 501), and pragmatic advice to prospective developers and adopters. We present three main findings. First, we find that these upper-division courses achieved student http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) Association for Computing Machinery

Can peer instruction be effective in upper-division computer science courses?

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Publisher
Association for Computing Machinery
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by ACM Inc.
ISSN
1946-6226
DOI
10.1145/2499947.2499949
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Can Peer Instruction Be Effective in Upper-Division Computer Science Courses? CYNTHIA BAILEY LEE, University of California, San Diego SATURNINO GARCIA, University of San Diego LEO PORTER, Skidmore College Peer Instruction (PI) is an active learning pedagogical technique. PI lectures present students with a series of multiple-choice questions, which they respond to both individually and in groups. PI has been widely successful in the physical sciences and, recently, has been successfully adopted by computer science instructors in lower-division, introductory courses. In this work, we challenge readers to consider PI for their upper-division courses as well. We present a PI curriculum for two upper-division computer science courses: Computer Architecture and Theory of Computation. These courses exemplify several perceived challenges to the adoption of PI in upper-division courses, including: exploration of abstract ideas, development of high-level judgment of engineering design trade-offs, and exercising advanced mathematical sophistication. This work includes selected course materials illustrating how these challenges are overcome, learning gains results comparing these upper-division courses with previous lower-division results in the literature, student attitudinal survey results (N = 501), and pragmatic advice to prospective developers and adopters. We present three main findings. First, we find that these upper-division courses achieved student

Journal

ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE)Association for Computing Machinery

Published: Aug 1, 2013

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