Work in progress: A first year common course on computational problem solving and programming

Char, Bruce W.; Hewett, Thomas T.
January 2014
Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition;2014, p1
Conference Proceeding
This is a report on work-in-progress for an entry-level course, Engineering Computation Lab, in which engineering and other STEM students learn about computational problem-solving and programming. It provides a hybrid (on-line and in-person) environment for learning introductory programming and computational problem-solving. It runs at scale, serving 800-1000 engineering students per term. Pedagogically, it uses active and problem-based learning using contexts more oriented towards the needs of engineering students than typical generic "intro programming" courses. Autograded exercises and on-line access to information have been key to feasible operation at scale. Learning how to operate effectively and smoothly at scale across a variety of lead instructor preferences, with the particular needs for computation by engineering students has been the continuing challenge. We report on our experiences, lessons learned, and plans for the future as we revise the course.


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