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“I added problem solutions in class and that helped stimulate questions and improved engagement!”

Course: Introduction to Scientific Computing

Department: Computer Science


I think more about interaction now. I’m teaching two different large classes next semester and I’m thinking about how I’m going to use the methods we discussed here. I predict that my classes will be much more interactive and engaging.

Course Description

Introduction to Scientific Computing grows every semester; in Spring 2017, we will have nearly 300 students enrolled in this course. The students who take this course are varied: from first years to seniors, some of them end up CS majors, but most are majoring in another STEM subject. We teach programming in this course, which can produce anxiety in the students. Many of these students have never programmed before and are frightened by the prospect. Being in a huge classroom with a few students who know a lot about programming probably doesn’t help.

Projected Design Elements

-Use Interactive Polling Technology
-Incorporate mega-cognitive activities
-Learning by doing

I’d like to make class sessions more engaging by including polls and interactive activities to get immediate feedback on how well they are understanding the material. I’ve already got them working in the browser so there are lots of possibilities. I’m intrigued by meta-cognitive activities but don’t currently know enough to incorporate them yet.

Incorporated Design Elements

I intended to do more interactive surveys this semester, but the Poll Everywhere and Piazza software wasn’t suitable for the sort of questions I wanted to ask and I didn’t have time/energy to create my own. I’d like to do that another time.
I feel very good about the worksheets we gave them and got very positive feedback from the students on their value.
I used think/pair/share and most of them enjoyed it and I think benefited as well.
I added problem solutions in class and that helped stimulate questions and improved engagement.

Program: Finish Line Project

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