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SIGCSE
2003
ACM

Measuring the effectiveness of robots in teaching computer science

8 years 8 months ago
Measuring the effectiveness of robots in teaching computer science
We report the results of a year-long experiment in the use of robots to teach computer science. Our data set compares results from over 800 students on identical tests from both robotics and non-robotics based laboratory sessions. We also examine the effectiveness of robots in encouraging students to select computer science or computer engineering as a field of study. Our results are negative: test scores were lower in the robotics sections than in the non-robotics ones, nor did the use of robots have any measurable effect on students choice of discipline. We believe the most significant factor that accounts for this is the lack of a simulator for our robotics programming system. Students in robotics sections must run and debug their programs on robots during assigned lab times, and are therefore deprived of both reflective time and the rapid compile-run-debug cycle outside of class that is an important part of the learning process. We discuss this and other issues, and suggest direct...
Barry S. Fagin, Laurence D. Merkle
Added 05 Jul 2010
Updated 05 Jul 2010
Type Conference
Year 2003
Where SIGCSE
Authors Barry S. Fagin, Laurence D. Merkle
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