Online discussions: improving education in CS?

  title={Online discussions: improving education in CS?},
  author={Radu Paul Mihail and Beth Rubin and J. Goldsmith},
  journal={Proceedings of the 45th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education},
Asynchronous online discussions are considered the cornerstone of online education. Many instructors of face-to-face courses are "web-enabling" their classes to improve learning through critical inquiry using online discussions. In this exploratory study, we collected and analyzed online discussion data from two dissimilar computer science courses (one technical Graphics for Gaming (G4G) course and a writing intensive Science Fiction and Ethics (SF&E) course). Our findings suggest that, overall… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Educators’ Experiences Online: How COVID-19 Encouraged Pedagogical Change in CS Education
The COVID-19 lockdown in the spring of 2020 created a unique pedagogical change situation. Educators had to make significant and rapid changes to their teaching approaches, with the time frame being
Online vs. face-to-face student performance in an introduction to operating systems course
Student performance in an Introduction to Operating Systems course that was converted from a face-to-face class to online delivery shows a slight improvement in student performance when the course went online, but not enough to establish statistical significance at the 95% confidence level.
Deconstructing the Discussion Forum: Student Questions and Computer Science Learning
Discussion forum posts from 395 students enrolled in CS2 across two different universities demonstrate that students use the discussion forums often for logistical and relatively shallow questions, however, the largest portion of questions reflect some level of constructive problem-solving activity, and are positively correlated with course grades.
Patterns of Academic Help-Seeking in Undergraduate Computing Students
Survey data about students’ frequency of using several resources followed by one-on-one student interviews revealed a common progression in which students started from easily accessible but low utility resources before moving on to less easily accessible, high utility resources.
Fiction as an Introduction to Computer Science Research
This paper describes how fiction reviews (and specifically science fiction) are used as a gateway to research reviews and teaches students how to navigate the research literature.
CodeRunnerGL - An Interactive Web-Based Tool for Computer Graphics Teaching and Assessment
  • B. Wünsche, Edward Huang, R. Lobb
  • Computer Science
    2019 International Conference on Electronics, Information, and Communication (ICEIC)
  • 2019
Three extensions to the authors' CodeRunner OpenGL teaching tool are presented: interactive 3D renderings on the web-based client, extensions to the Moodle templates enabling formative feedback, and sandboxes for experimenting with OpenGL code.
Using "The Machine Stops" for Teaching Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science
The story of E.M. Forster's 1909 story, "The Machine Stops", is used to examine ethical issues related to being constantly available for remote contact, physically isolated, and dependent on a machine --- all without mentioning computer games or other media.
Automatic assessment of OpenGL computer graphics assignments
This paper describes how to adapt CodeRunner, a free open-source question-type plug-in for Moodle, to OpenGL assignments, and the experience of using it with a class of about 300 students, where results were overwhelmingly positive and students perceived the tool as having significantly improved their learning.
Teaching AI Ethics Using Science Fiction
The use of science fiction is explored as an appropriate tool to enable AI researchers to help engage students and the public on the current state and potential impacts of AI.


Building Learning Communities in Online Courses: the importance of interaction
Preliminary findings from research on the development of community in online course discussions support an equilibrium model of social presence in online discussion which suggests that as affective communications channels are reduced, discussion participants use more verbal immediacy behaviors to support interaction among classmates.
Facilitating online discussions effectively
  • A. P. Rovai
  • Education, Sociology
    Internet High. Educ.
  • 2007
Exploring asynchronous and synchronous tool use in online courses
Student-content interactions in online courses: the role of question prompts in facilitating higher-level engagement with course content
Lower divergent questions were most effective in generating high levels of student thinking compared to other question types, and brainstorming and playground questions averaged the highest number of posts/student as well as highest average number of student responses/prompt.
Facilitating Cognitive Presence in Online Learning: Interaction Is Not Enough
This study assessed the depth of online learning, with a focus on the nature of online interaction in four distance education course designs. The Study Process Questionnaire was used to measure the
Barriers to online critical discourse
This qualitative case study illustrates barriers to informal argumentation and reasoned debate, i.e., critical discourse, in online forums. The case is the computer conference of a 15-week,
Interaction and the online distance classroom: Do instructional methods effect the quality of interaction?
  • H. Kanuka
  • Education
    J. Comput. High. Educ.
  • 2011
Two studies are brought together to provide a comprehensive overview on diverse and interactive instructional methods aimed to facilitate higher levels of learning by exploring the effects of group interaction using different instructional strategies focusing on the learning process using the Community of Inquiry framework.
Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies
The meta-analysis of empirical studies of online learning found that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction, and suggests that the positive effects associated with blended learning should not be attributed to the media, per se.