Experience report: CS1 for majors with media computation

Beth Simon, Päivi Kinnunen, Leo Porter, Dov Zazkis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous reports of a media computation approach to teaching programming have either focused on pre-CS1 courses or courses for non-majors. We report the adoption of a media computation context in a majors' CS1 course at a large, selective R1 institution in the U.S. The main goal was to increase retention of majors, but do so by replacing the traditional CS1 course directly (fully preparing students for the subsequent course). In this paper we provide an experience report for instructors interested in this approach. We compare a traditional CS1 with a media computation CS1 in terms of desired student competencies (analyzed via programming assignments and exams) and find the media computation approach to focus more on problem solving and less on language issues. In comparing student success (analyzed via pass rates and retention rates one year later) we find pass rates to be statistically significantly higher with media computation both for majors and for the class as a whole. We give examples of media computation exam questions and programming assignments and share student and instructor experiences including advice for the new instructor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationITiCSE'10 - Proceedings of the 2010 ACM SIGCSE Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
Pages214-218
Number of pages5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event15th Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference, ITiCSE 2010 - Bilkent, Ankara, Turkey
Duration: Jun 26 2010Jun 30 2010

Publication series

NameITiCSE'10 - Proceedings of the 2010 ACM SIGCSE Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education

Conference

Conference15th Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference, ITiCSE 2010
CountryTurkey
CityBilkent, Ankara
Period6/26/106/30/10

Keywords

  • CS1
  • Media computation
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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    Simon, B., Kinnunen, P., Porter, L., & Zazkis, D. (2010). Experience report: CS1 for majors with media computation. In ITiCSE'10 - Proceedings of the 2010 ACM SIGCSE Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (pp. 214-218). (ITiCSE'10 - Proceedings of the 2010 ACM SIGCSE Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education). https://doi.org/10.1145/1822090.1822151