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How to Build Resilience into Your Computer Science Curriculum

Over the past few weeks, the media has been consistently reporting that colleges are moving to “online,” “remote,” or “distance learning.” This is misleading, however. Most teachers have been forced by circumstance to operate in Emergency Remote Teaching mode—or “Pandemic Pedagogy,” as some have taken to calling it

“Emergency Remote Teaching” and “Online Learning” are two very different concepts. Educators have had to take materials (including curriculum resources, and assessments) created for use in a traditional learning environment and put them together for remote learning. As a short-term measure, “Emergency Remote Teaching” has been a necessary step. In the long-term, however, it’s unsustainable.

BUILD RESILIENCE INTO YOUR COURSE DELIVERY

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Given this rapid shift to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT), it’s likely that student performance, engagement, and retention will take a hit. But with the right planning, infrastructure access, and resources, it doesn’t have to be this way! Codio’s Resiliency in CS Education Campaign offers you access to tools and resources that can help. 

The fast-paced approach to ERT can diminish the quality and efficacy of courses in any subject matter, but especially when it comes to teaching Computer Science. More broadly however, current events are accelerating the pace at which educators will need to transition to a more sustainable model. 

COVID19 - Transition (1)

The key to accomplishing this is resiliency—having tools, pedagogical approaches, and policies in place that reduce or even eliminate the impact of campus closures and disruptions to students and faculty, and allow for course continuity in any mode of delivery—and this is where Codio can help. 

BUILD RESILIENCE INTO YOUR COURSE DELIVERY

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Codio enables you to bring your vision of Computer Science education to life. Distinct from the traditional etext providers with bolt-on “labs,” Codio’s platform gives all users full Ubuntu servers in the cloud with the Codio IDE into which your course materials, assignments, and auto-graded assessments can be brought to life using our powerful authoring, assessments and grading tools. 

We’re pedagogically-agnostic so you can bring your resources and use or customize ours, to create the learning experiences you desire for your students. 

“I’m (almost) at a loss for words right now at how smoothly this pivot away from face-to-face teaching is going for my students because of Codio.”

For instructors and administrators alike, this allows you to operate independently  of physical campus-based infrastructure, while ensuring that all students have access to the same high-quality learning environment through the Codio cloud. All students need to use Codio is a web-browser and an internet connection. 

We’ve heard from many Codio instructors that their transition away from traditional, on-campus teaching has been minimally disruptive (if at all) for both them and their students. Professor Raymond Lang of Xavier University put it best, saying “I’m (almost) at a loss for words right now at how smoothly this pivot away from face-to-face teaching is going for my students because of Codio.”

BUILD RESILIENCE INTO YOUR COURSE DELIVERY

We’ve heard from many Codio instructors that their transition away from traditional, on-campus teaching has been minimally disruptive (if at all) for both them and their students. Professor Raymond Lang of Xavier University put it best, saying “I’m (almost) at a loss for words right now at how smoothly this pivot away from face-to-face teaching is going for my students because of Codio.”

Research shows that less text and more interactivity results in better student learning outcomes. For example, less text (approximately 50% of the original) improves aspects of learning like completion time, amount remembered, and student satisfaction by 58%.[1]

And as you reduce text, you can replace passive reading with interactivity in a few different ways, like adding practice exercises (whether they are graded or not) or adding visualizations and Parson’s problems to help students think about code at a low or really high level.

One study, which measured student performance with interactive web-native content against the performance of students with static web content, found that “the average improvement score was 16% higher for participants given the interactive web-native content than the static web content.”[2]

Obviously, creating your own interactive content is time-consuming. And time is something we are all short of, especially these days. Codio comes with an entire library of ready-to-use, high-quality instructional materials that can be customized to your liking. You can use them as-is, mix-and-match, or customize them however suits you best. 

Codio is built by computer science teachers for computer science teachers and is designed to be used in any teaching context—from traditional campus settings to blended (online and traditional) to completely online. 

If you’re serious about delivering resilient CS courses in the fall and beyond, register below.

[1] Nielsen, J. (1997, October 1). How Users Read on the Web. Retrieved May 14, 2019, from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/ 

[2] Edgcomb, A., & Vahid, F. (2014, June). Effectiveness of online textbooks vs. interactive web-native content. In 2014 ASEE annual conference.

Joshua Ball

Joshua is Codio's Director of Marketing.

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