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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

Constructivism in Computer Science Education

“Constructivism” is a theory of learning that is recently explored in the context of computer science education. It claims that students learn by actively constructing knowledge, and not passively absorbing it from books and lectures. New knowledge structures are built on top of existing ones – and an instructor must guide this construction. Effective learning comes from the building of viable mental models. In the case of CS education, researchers have devised many classroom activities that enhance the building of this viable model. In this talk we explore some of these activities, as they apply to the teaching of CS0/CS1/CS2. For example, the elementary concept of a variable can be difficult to understand. Usual model of a box can lead to misconceptions. When you do a = b; Is the value in b still there? Can't contain both its previous and present values? We will explore some “hooks and props” as educational technology to enhance CS education.

Presenter: T Rao (Faculty)
Topic: Computer Science
Location: 104 Edwards
Time: 4:25 pm (Session V)

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