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Pedagogical Techniques Supported by the Use of Student Devices in Teaching Software Engineering

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  1. Pedagogical Techniques Supported by the Use of Student Devices in Teaching Software Engineering Valentin Razmov, Richard Anderson {valentin, anderson}@cs.washington.edu University of Washington, Seattle SIGCSE 2006 conference, Houston, TX

  2. My Goals Inspire Involve Inform

  3. Outline • Background and motivation • Why technology helps • Activities in which you participate • Each activity illustrating a pedagogical technique that is supported by technology • Conclusions

  4. Background Context • Course we taught • Software Engineering for junior and senior students of Computer Science • Enrollments of up to 35 students • Pedagogical goals • Active student involvement and interaction • Support for diversity of opinions • Especially important in “soft” subjects

  5. Background:Classroom Presenter • Classroom interaction system • Built for use with Tablet PCs • Two main classroom usage scenarios: • Instructors can annotate (and later save) slides in ink • Instructors can pose problems (on slides) that students respond to by writing on slides and submitting their work anonymously • Classroom Presenter is freely available for educational purposes

  6. Activity: Perception of Amount Learned vs. Time • Assume you are learning a new skill. How does your perception of the amount learned change with time? Your perception of how much you have learned Time Student Submission

  7. Why Technology is Key? • Gives instructor instant access to content from a broad range of students • … not just from the few vocal students • Increases instructor’s awareness of student ideas • Enables instructor to immediately integrate student content into the lecture discussion • Using actual examples of student work improves feedback • Gives students a stake in constructing new knowledge • Doing all this anonymously

  8. Activity: Testing Emphasis • How much does each $1 invested in earlydefect tracking save the project later on? • $0.25 • $1.00 • $7.00 • $50.00 • What does that imply for how much emphasis you need to put on testing? Student Submission

  9. Activity: Software Engineering vs. Other Engineering • How is software engineering different from other engineering disciplines? Student Submission

  10. Activity: What are Your Options If You Fall Behind Schedule? Student Submission

  11. Activity: Influence Diagrams Third world population Testing vs. stress Availability of food and health care Amount of testing done Survival rate of children Pressure felt Errors made Number of children in the family Student Submission

  12. Distinguishing Aspects from Related Work • Anonymity of student work • Classroom Presenter is designed strictly for feedback in class, not for evaluation • Student submissions • In ink: a rich free-form expression • Non-aggregated

  13. Impact of Technology • On instructors: • Encourages instructors to: • First define the learning goals • Then, decide how to assess if those goals are achieved • Finally, design the necessary activities / content • Challenge of creating activities that are both supportive of learning and can be easily evaluated on the spot (i.e., have low cognitive load) • On students: • Observed high rates of participation, ample classroom discussion => engagement • Distraction is possible and does occur • Assessing learning outcomes is future work

  14. Conclusions • Existing technology can: • Help promote student engagement and openness to diversity of ideas • Enable instructors to quickly gather and give feedback in class • Results may apply in other disciplines • Not limited to software engineering

  15. Activity: One-Minute Feedback • What 1-2 ideas discussed today captured your attention and thinking the most? • What questions still remain open for you? Be specific. Student Submission

  16. Questions? References: • Contact info • Valentin Razmov (valentin@cs.washington.edu) and Richard Anderson (anderson@cs.washington.edu) • Classroom Presenter-related • Downloads:http://www.cs.washington.edu/education/dl/presenter/ • Papers: http://www.cs.washington.edu/education/dl/presenter/papers.html • Software Engineering education-related • Papers:http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/valentin/sw-eng-papers.html Acknowledgements: • HP • Classroom Presenter is built on top of the ConferenceXP research platform. This work was supported in part by grants from External Research and Programs, Microsoft Research.