About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4449-4458
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain

METHODS TO INCREASE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT IN THE SUBJECT COMPUTER SCIENCE

Teaching programming has always entailed special difficulties as students must acquire not only the basic programming concepts but also the skills needed to be able to resolve a problem by using a programming language. In this contribution we present our experiences with the subject Computer Science in the degree of Geomatics and Topography Engineering at our university. This subject also has an additional disadvantage since the aim of the degree is to provide the training needed by Geomatics and Topography engineers and not by programmers. For this reason, many times this subject is not seen as a tool for engineers, but as an obstacle that is not really needed.

In order to smooth out these drawbacks, first of all, we use tools and languages used in their careers, secondly we focus on the practical aspects, thirdly we use methodologies that make easier the learning of programming and computer science and finally, we use approaches that improve the motivation of our students and increase the student engagement. In this last course, we decided to apply some new methods that have enhanced students’ results. To do so, all of the learning material was published at the University Courseware site. This learning material consists of theoretical and practical contents. The theoretical material includes the slides used in the classes, exercises and tests. The practical one is a set of manuals that were created to support students in acquiring the programming skills. In these manuals, students can find the programming concepts, examples and exercises. Besides, we realized a comprehensive set of examples in order to know how to apply the programming skills. Instead of providing this set, we decided to make use of wikis. These wikis were filled in and reviewed by the students themselves. That way, we encouraged the collaboration and self-learning since they created their own material and they helped each other to acquire new knowledge. Last but not least, we used concept maps. These maps were created by the students and they let students consolidate the theoretical concepts. Moreover, they provided us an invaluable tool to detect problems in their learning.

As results show, because of the use of these technologies and methodologies, we have improved the performance and satisfaction of our students. In the previous year, only the 45% of the students passed the subject, whereas this course, our success rate have been increased to 78%. Besides, the material that was published at the University OpenCourseware site was awarded for being one of five best OpenCourseware materials in year 2012-2013.
@InProceedings{PEREZCORDON2014MET,
author = {P{\'{e}}rez Cord{\'{o}}n, L.G. and Mata Mata, F. and Garc{\'{i}}a Fern{\'{a}}ndez, A.L. and Mart{\'{i}}nez Cruz, C. and Porcel Gallego, C.},
title = {METHODS TO INCREASE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT IN THE SUBJECT COMPUTER SCIENCE},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {4449-4458}}
TY - CONF
AU - L.G. Pérez Cordón AU - F. Mata Mata AU - A.L. García Fernández AU - C. Martínez Cruz AU - C. Porcel Gallego
TI - METHODS TO INCREASE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT IN THE SUBJECT COMPUTER SCIENCE
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 4449
EP - 4458
ER -
L.G. Pérez Cordón, F. Mata Mata, A.L. García Fernández, C. Martínez Cruz, C. Porcel Gallego (2014) METHODS TO INCREASE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT IN THE SUBJECT COMPUTER SCIENCE, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 4449-4458.
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