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Teaching Strategies and Learning Styles CRA-W Workshop March 4, 2009

Teaching Strategies and Learning Styles CRA-W Workshop March 4, 2009. Susan Rodger Professor of the Practice Duke University www.cs.duke.edu/~rodger. Outline. About Me and my teaching path Learning Styles Teaching Strategies Preparation for class Group dynamics

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Teaching Strategies and Learning Styles CRA-W Workshop March 4, 2009

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  1. Teaching Strategies and Learning StylesCRA-W WorkshopMarch 4, 2009 Susan Rodger Professor of the Practice Duke University www.cs.duke.edu/~rodger

  2. Outline • About Me and my teaching path • Learning Styles • Teaching Strategies • Preparation for class • Group dynamics • Activities w/o computer • Activities w/ computer • JAWAA • JFLAP

  3. Who Am I - Personally? Spouse Mother

  4. Hobby – Baking Shape cakes, cookies

  5. How do you make those cakes?

  6. What path did I take? PhD, 1989 Computer Science Assistant Prof. 1989-1994 Assistant Prof. Of Practice 1994-1997 Associate Prof. Of Practice 1997-2008 Professor of the Practice 2008-present

  7. Along the way, Duke’s been great! • Virtual Prof (bedrest) - Fall 1996 • Maternity leave – Spring 1997 • Virtual Prof (bedrest) – Fall 1999 • Maternity leave – Spring 2000 • ¾ time for five years – Fall 2000-Spring 2005 • “Leave” Fall 2004 – writing books

  8. What is Professor “of the Practice”? • Position exists in many departments at Duke • About 20% of Arts and Sciences Faculty • PhD preferred, or appropriate professional experience • Non-tenure track, permanent position, promotable • Renewable contracts (4 –8 yrs) • Focus on “education in the discipline” • Main tasks • Teaching (2 courses per semester) • Research (related to education) • Service, advising

  9. How do Prof of Practice differ from regular rank faculty in CS? • Teach 2 courses/semester vs 1 course/semester • Focus on undergrad curriculum, first two years • Teach intro courses • Other grad and undergrad courses too • Supervise undergraduates more than grad. studs. • Attend faculty meetings • Vote on everything except tenure decisions • No sabbatical, instead apply for Dean’s leave • Salary is similar! • Write grants – CS education or education part of research grant

  10. My Research Interests • Computer Science Education • Visualization and Interaction • Instructional Tools for Theoretical concepts • Automata theory and formal languages • Algorithm Animation

  11. Three NSF Projects I’m involved in • JFLAP • Software for automata theory • Study with 14 universities • The Alice project • Create 3D virtual worlds • Teaching programming non-majors college • Teaching to K-12 – 6 regional sites, $1.3 Million • Peer Led Team Learning • Students teaching students • 8 universities, 4 year grant • Women and minorities

  12. Learning Styles • Different people learn differently • Various ways to categorize learning styles • Visual • Auditory • Read/Write • Kinesthetic/Tactile • Most people have multiple styles

  13. Visual Learners • Learn by seeing • Like pictures, diagrams, body language • Appreciate use of color, highlighting

  14. Auditory Learners • Learn by listening • Like lectures, discussions • Attuned to oral queues (tone of voice, pitch, speed) • Can benefit from reading aloud, using a tape recorder, explaining ideas to others

  15. Read/Write Learners • Learn by reading and writing (textual learner) • Like to read words or numbers rather than be told or see diagrams • Like lists, essays, dictionaries, glossaries, manuals • Most successful academics are read/write learners; most students are not!

  16. Kinesthetic Learners • Learn by doing, moving, touching • Like hands-on approach and real-world examples: labs, case studies, field trips • May need breaks during lecture • May find chewing gum, listening to music helpful while studying

  17. Style != Ability • Non read/write learners may have excellent reading/writing skills • Non-visual learners may enjoy visual experiences and activities

  18. How do you reach all types? Provide pictures, diagrams and text Discuss what you are doing Provide activities for trying it Teach me my most difficult concepts in my preferred style Let me explore my easiest concepts in a different style Just don’t teach me all the time in your preferred style and think I’m not capable of learning. Virleen Carlson, Center for Teaching and Learning Cornell University

  19. Teaching StrategiesPreparation for class

  20. Get to know your students! • Get their picture • Pass around a camera the first day • Registrar photo lists • Assigned Seating • Calling on students • Pick-a-student system (rotate thru their pictures)

  21. Interactive Lecture • Lecture for 10-20 minutes • Students solve a problem • Solve problem from scratch (longer) • Find what is wrong with a “solution” (shorter) • Discuss solution • Ask how many did X? (gets students involved) • Give a possible solution (shorter) • Student present solution (longer) • REPEAT

  22. Interactive Lecture Notes and Handouts • Create 4 versions of my lecture • Slides with holes • Handouts with holes • My notes – holes filled in • Library notes (handouts with holes filled in) • Don’t give out any more

  23. How to create Lecture notes • Latex – 1 file with tags • %M – my notes only • %S – slides and handout • %SO – slides only • %LH – library notes, my notes and handout • Etc.. • Powerpoint • Use notes feature, print slides 4 per page • Tablet PC • Different views

  24. Interactive Lecture with ComputersOR Interactive Lab • Lecture for 10-20 minutes • Students work on problem with computers • Bring students back together

  25. Room Layout with Computers • 20 computers, 40 students • Extra desks for group work • Advantage: see what students are doing

  26. Say help with a Beanie Thanks to Robert Duvall

  27. Teaching StrategiesGroup Dynamics • Work with large or small classes

  28. Divide Students into Groups • Random assignment • Count off and assign groups on the spot • Assign in advance, bring in seating chart • Change groups every 2-3 weeks • Students work on problems during class in groups • Short (2 min) or long problems (20 min)

  29. Advantages to Random Groups Large or Small classes • Students help each other • Students are more confident to answer questions – not feeling alone • Students present different solutions • Students meet other students • Less work to grade for you • Can pass graded work back quickly • Sort it by groups first

  30. Groups in Lab - Pair Programming • Work in pairs • Responsibilities • One person is driver • One person is navigator • “Pair Programming Illuminated” by Williams and Kessler, 2003

  31. Peer-Led Team Learning • Related to a course • Students solve problems in small groups (4-8 students) weekly in addition to regular class meeting • Interesting exercises to be solved as a group • Led by trained undergraduate student leaders who facilitate group learning • Used in Chemistry for about 12 years • Now in computer science: www.pltlcs.org • Beneficial to both students and student leaders • SIGCSE 2009 paper – Horwitz, Rodger

  32. Cone of Learning(Edgar Dale)

  33. PLTL Effects on Students • Better/deeper understanding of material • Lower drop rates • Better grades (usually) • Formation of social groups • Very high satisfaction

  34. PLTL Effects on Peer Leaders • Better understanding of the material • Increased confidence to continue in CS • Appreciation for different teaching /learning styles • Improved leadership skills • Collegial relationship with faculty

  35. Teaching StrategiesActivities Without a Computer • Get creative in bringing hands-on activities into the classroom

  36. Interaction in Class – PropsPassing “Parameters” in Class • Pass by reference – throw frisbee • Pass by value – throw copy of frisbee • Pass by const reference – throw “protected” frisbee

  37. Interaction in Class – PropsLinked List and Memory Heaps ITiCSE 98 – Astrachan – “Concrete Teaching: Hooks and Props as Instructional Technology

  38. Interaction in Class – Props Memory Heap

  39. Be a Robot • 4 People • Controller (head) • Sensors (eyes) • Manipulators (2 hands) • Blindfolded except eyes • Controller knows what to build • Limited communication SIGCSE 96, Rodger,Walker

  40. Sorting Over 100 Words anchor physiotherapist pathetic bootstrapped acrimonious polarization firecracker palindrome observatory controversial orchestrate statistician confrontation scrumptious revolutionary … • An envelope with over 100 words, each word on one slip of paper • Sort the words • Write down the algorithm • Early assignment, before sorting is covered

  41. Interaction with Class Binary Tree and Recursion • Build a binary tree • Pick a root • Root picks two children – point at them • Repeat until everyone is part of the tree • Recursively calculate height of tree • Start at root • Ask children their height • Leaf notes know their height is 0 SIGCSE 2002 – Wolfman – “Making Lemonade: Exploring the Bright Side of Large Lecture Classes

  42. Interaction in Class – PropsEdible Turing Machine • TM for f(x)=2x where x is unary • TM is not correct, can you fix it? Then eat it! • States are blueberry muffins

  43. Students building DFA with cookies and icing

  44. The Smart Waitress vs Customer • Four cups on a revolving tray (each up or down) • Waitress blindfolded and wears boxing gloves • Goal is to turn all cups up • Game – Repeat: • W turns 1-4 cups • If all up wins • Customer rotates tray 0, 90, 180 or 270 degrees • Is there a winning strategy? • This is a DFA problem From an old EATCS bulletin

  45. Teaching StrategiesActivities With a Computer • Using software to teach concepts during lecture • Will illustrate with software I use in lecture • JAWAA • JFLAP

  46. The Role of Visualization and Engagement • Working Group ITiCSE 2002 (Naps et al) • Six Levels of Learner Engagement • Hypothesis: 1 and 2 equivalent, higher the number, better learning outcomes

  47. What is JAWAA? • Scripting Language for Animation • Easily create, modify and move objects • Runs over the web, no need to install • More Advanced Students • Output JAWAA Command from Program • Animate Data Structures Easily • SIGCSE 2003 and SIGCSE 1998 • www.cs.duke.edu/~rodger/tools/ • Students: Pierson, Patel, Finley, Akingbade, Jackson, Gibson, Gartland

  48. Related Work • Samba, Jsamba - Stasko (Georgia Tech) • AnimalScript – Roessling (Darmstadt Univ of Tech, SIGCSE 2001) • JHAVE – Naps (U. Wisc. Oshkosh, SIGCSE 2000) • Lots of animations and systems on the web!

  49. JAWAA Commands

  50. JAWAA Primitives

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