Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

Recently, we've seen huge enrollment increases in computing and technology courses, which make it difficult for instructors to work personally with students and give them individualized instruction. Instructors may encourage students to work together, but we cannot assume that students know how to ask for assistance from their peers or that students will know how to provide meaningful educational support. Our motivation for this study was to create a computer science educational intervention that provided students with a scaffolded framework that helps them work through problems together. Our goal was to create a simple and quickly understood resource for students to use during collaborative lab activities. This paper describes the "Collaborative Learning Framework" (CLF), an educational support tool operationalized as a poster. The CLF poster is intended to be hung in a classroom or lab space and includes four prompts that ask students to explain and think critically about their problems with their peers. In Summer 2017, we conducted an exploratory qualitative study of an introductory, non-major computing course. Our findings present case studies of three CLF poster users and two non-CLF poster users. We evaluate the CLF poster by identifying how the students develop a computational thinking mindset and use the poster as an instructional problem-solving tool. We found that the CLF poster was an effective and useful collaboration tool for the students who were developing a computational thinking mindset.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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