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Recent research suggests that the first weeks of a CS1 course have a strong influence on end-of-course student performance. The present work aims to refine the understanding of this phenomenon by using in-class clicker questions as a source of student performance. Clicker questions generate per-lecture and per-question data with which to assess student(More)
We examine student difficulties with CS1 concepts by analyzing a dataset containing 266,852 student responses to weekly code-writing problems. We find that conditionals and loops prove particularly problematic, even when considering 'second chance' data; and that, while we observe some evidence of improvement, certain straightforward applications of loops(More)
Computer Science 1 (CS1), the first course taken by college-level computer science (CS) majors, has traditionally suffered from high failure rates. Efforts to understand this phenomenon have considered a wide range of predictors of CS success, such as prior programming experience, math ability, learning style, and gender, with findings that are suggestive(More)
Peer Instruction (PI) is an instructional approach that engages students in constructing their own understanding of concepts. Students individually respond to a question, discuss with peers, and respond to the same question again. In general, the peer discussion portion of PI leads to an increase in the number of students answering a question correctly. But(More)
Peer Instruction (PI) has a significant following in physics, biology, and chemistry education. Although many CS educators are aware of PI as a pedagogy, the adoption rate in CS is low. This paper reports on four instructors with varying motivations and course contexts and the value they found in adopting PI. Although there are many documented benefits of(More)
We present the Python Classroom Response System, a web-based tool that enables instructors to use code-writing and multiple choice questions in a classroom setting. The system is designed to extend the principles of peer instruction, an active learning technique built around discussion of multiple- choice questions, into the domain of introductory(More)
We compare a traditional CS1 offering with an inverted offering delivered the following year to a comparable student population. We measure student attitudes, grades, and final course outcomes and find that, while students in the inverted offering do not report increased enjoyment and are no more likely to pass, learning as measured by final exam(More)