Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Curt Clifton and Matt Boutell (2010) SPLICE: Self-Paced Learning in an Inverted Classroom Environment, Grant proposal for the Rose-Hulman Summer Professional Development Grants

Learning to program is hard for many students. Practice with an expert coach is key to overcoming this challenge. We adopted the 3Å~2 format for our introductory courses to give students such mentored practice. In a single class session, students learn a concept, experiment with it, and apply it to a real problem, all with expert coaching at hand. While this format has been effective, we still find two significant problems: time and pace. Time is an issue because presenting concepts, showing examples, and modeling problem solving decreases the time available for mentored practice. Pace is an issue because some students arrive with confidence and prior experience and are thus bored, while other students struggle and become overwhelmed. To address these problems, we propose creating on-line videos for introductory programming courses to present concepts, show examples, and model the problem solving process. As a result, our students will spend every class session entirely in active learning activities with expert coaching, receive more individual attention, and set their own pace.

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