Increasing Student Retention and Satisfaction in IT Introductory Programming Courses using Active Learning

Keith Whittington
InSITE 2006  •  Volume 6  •  2006
The emerging field of Information Technology is one of several fields that require students to leam computer programming. A large proportion of the students were having difficulty getting through the programming sequence and ultimately changed majors or dropped out of college. To deal with this problem, curricular reforms were implemented and active learning techniques were added to the classroom. The outcome of which was increased student retention, grades, and overall satisfaction. As a result of these encouraging results, an NSF CCLI grant was awarded to formally compare teaching techniques and to create active learning activities specifically designed for introductory computer programming courses. This paper discusses the preliminary work and results that led to the grant award and also summarizes the work that is currently underway. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. DUE-0442987.
Active learning, introductory programming, student retention, curricular reform
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