Development of engaging and readily transferable laboratory experiences for the introductory programming course
The main goals of the project are: (1) enhance the delivery of the introductory level computer science programming course through a set of well-structured laboratory online lab experiences that are engaging, applied, and meaningful, and (2) facilitate the adoption of the developed materials by other instructors. The project provides a turnkey solution that significantly eases an instructor’s change in classroom techniques toward more hands-on, active and engaging courses. In essence, the turnkey solution consists of a set of well-structured online laboratory experiences that are applied, meaningful, easily accessible and transferable, all packaged into a virtual appliance preconfigured with all the necessary software (compilers, libraries, and data files). The laboratory experiences contain a strong continuous assessment component to establish students’ skills, concept mastery and attitudes towards the concepts and theme of the lab experiences. The experiences are designed following Merrill's five principles of instruction, i.e. be task-centered, and have processes of activation, demonstration, application and integration. Product development follows the ADDIE model (analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation). Student learning assessment is done before, during and after each laboratory experience. Promotion and dissemination of the solution is achieved through exhibitions and publications in major CS Education conferences, as well as supported by a dedicated website.