Addressing Mixed Levels of Prior Knowledge by Individualising Learning Pathways in a Degree Apprenticeship Summer School

Somerville, D., Cutts, Q. , Parkinson, J. and Barr, M. (2020) Addressing Mixed Levels of Prior Knowledge by Individualising Learning Pathways in a Degree Apprenticeship Summer School. In: CEP 2020: Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Computing Education Practice 2020, Durham, UK, 09 Jan 2020, p. 14. ISBN 9781450377294 (doi: 10.1145/3372356.3372370)

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Teaching an introductory programming course is beset by two core challenges: students enter the course with different levels of prior experience; and, for whatever reason, they progress at different rates. This is at odds with a typical face-to-face course, where material is delivered to the whole class in a lock-step fashion. Addressing these two challenges lies at the heart of an eight-week Summer School, described here, designed to bring a broad intake of students up to a common level ready to start on an degree apprenticeship programme that assumes a certain level of programming ability at the outset. A programming test of students' understanding of programming constructs (e.g. conditional logic, loops, methods etc) allowed us to select for whom the course was mandatory, but it was open to all. Successful completion of the Summer School required students to demonstrate mastery of nine competencies. Each competency had an initial test, if the student did not meet the required level they were asked to complete coursework using Jupyter Notebooks. If the student passed the initial test they moved straight to the final test and if they passed, they moved to the next competency. There were also practice quizzes for students to do before the final test. This provided an individualised learning pathway for the students. Students improved in the programming test and have given favourable reviews of the Summer School in a focus group.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Keywords:Python, introduction, programming, degree apprenticeship, graduate apprenticeship.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Parkinson, Mr Jack and Barr, Dr Matthew and Cutts, Professor Quintin and Somerville, Mr Derek
Authors: Somerville, D., Cutts, Q., Parkinson, J., and Barr, M.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Research Group:Centre for Computer Science Education

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