collaborative learning

Thursday Extra 2/21/19: On the design of CSC 321/22

Thursday, February 21, 2019
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Developing Soft and Technical Skills Through Multi-Semester, Remotely Mentored, Community-Service Projects

Professor Samuel A. Rebelsky will present a talk discussing the design rationale for CSC 321/22 (now CSC 324/26), in preparation for a talk that he and Dr. Janet Davis will be giving at the 50th SIGCSE Technical Symposium in Computer Science Education.

CSC 322 Student Presentations

The CSC 322 ("Team Software Development for Community Organizations") students are wrapping up their multi-semester projects for release and will be presenting the near-final projects at 1:00-2:30pm on Friday, December 9, 2016, in Noyce 3819.


Lab work for Computer Organization and Architecture

Grinnell's CS faculty delight in innovative pedagogy and blend several approaches within each course, according to the nature of the material under study. Students learn in different ways, making diversity of styles an important strength of courses. Most courses employ several styles, such as lectures, mini-lectures, group discussion, small group activities, large group activities, lab-based exercises, collaborative learning, and pair programming. Also, many CS courses meet daily within a lab environment, so that work may move between lab-based exercises and other activities, and this transition may take place several times within a single class session.

Students working in the lab on Scribbler Robots with faculty'

For example, introductory courses (e.g., CSC 151 and CSC 161) often follow a lab-based format and foster collaborative learning. After reading a short web-based discussion, students come to class for a lab that highlights ideas, allows experimentation with concepts, and applies principles to specific problems. Some exercises involve programming, others running experimenting, and still others comparing approaches. Students are encouraged to work in pairs on labs, while other assignments may involve involve individual work.

Through a typical class session in an introductory course, the instructor (aided by a upper-level student teaching assistant) circulates through the class, talking to each group, answering student questions, suggesting alternative approaches, and clarifying ideas. When similar issues arise from several students, the instructor may give a mini-lecture on the matter at hand. In this format, one instructor estimates he lectures about 4 hours per month—mostly in 10-minute pieces.

Students pair programming in Intro. CS

Similarly, upper-level courses often meet in a teaching lab, so that work can move easily from lecture to lab-based exercise to small group.

Feel free to explore the Web sites for our courses, past and present.

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