Daniel Zingaro

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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)
Computer science concept inventories: past and future C. Taylor, D. Zingaro, L. Porter, K.C. Webb, C.B. Lee & M. Clancy a Department of Computer Science, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, USA. b Department of Math and Computer Sciences, University of Toronto, ON, Canada. c Computer Science and Eng. Dept., University of California, San Diego, CA, USA. d(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)
Recent work in computing suggests that Peer Instruction (PI) is a valuable interactive learning pedagogy: it lowers fail rates, increases retention, and is enjoyed by students and instructors alike. While these findings are promising, they are somewhat incidental if our goal is to understand whether PI is "better" than lecture in terms of student outcomes.(More)
While the independent contributions of synchronous and asynchronous interaction in online learning are clear, comparatively less is known about the pedagogical consequences of using both modes in the same environment. In this study, we examine relationships between students’ use of asynchronous discussion forums and synchronous private messages (PM). We(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 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)
Although computing students may enjoy when their instructors teach using analogies, it is unknown to what extent these analogies are useful for their learning. This study examines the value of analogies when used to introduce three introductory computing topics. The value of these analogies may be evident during the teaching process itself (short term), in(More)