65. AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF CLASS SIZE ON PEER INSTRUCTION IN COMPUTING

Department: Computer Science & Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Graduate Program in Computational Science, Mathematics, and Engineering (CSME)
Faculty Advisor(s): William G. Griswold | Leonard E. Porter

Primary Student
Name: Soohyun Eileen Nam
Email: snam@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-842-7654
Grad Year: 2019

Abstract
Peer Instruction is an in-class active learning method which requires students participate in a repeating process of answering a question independently (often using clickers), engaging in group discussions with other students about the question, answering the question again, and having a class-wide discussion. Peer Instruction has seen increased interest in computer science courses nationally, being used in a wide-variety of institutions and in varied class sizes (from university classes with more than 100 students to liberal art college classes with less than 20 students). However, the impact on Peer Instruction from scaling a computer science course to increasingly large classes has not been carefully examined. Hence, this work investigates various factors associated with Peer Instruction in an upper division computer science course which was taught by the same instructor with 84 students one year and with 330 students the following year. The results showed that regardless of class size, students had remarkably similar in-class iclicker question performance (Pearson correlation: 0.86). Moreover, there were no noticeable differences on a number of questions on a student attitudinal survey; including that the majority of the both classes (>90%) were satisfied with Peer Instruction. Lastly, to further explore potential differences in the classes, we examine relationship between in-class iclicker questions and final exam questions, and find them, for both terms, some common iclicker questions significantly affect on the probability of a student's success in the course.

Industry Application Area(s)
Software, Analytics

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