Research

In the computer science program here at Western Michigan University professors have been trying to identify the factors that cause failure in certain courses and figuring out how to cause more success in this program. The success rate, as measured by the number of students who obtain a grade of C or better, is low, often less than 50% ( Apple & Nelson., 2002). Usually this class consists of students with all different levels of education on computer science. This type of difference between students may cause the professor difficulty in teaching all students as well as he or she can. For too many students who take this class, the large lecture and laboratory setting simply is not working ( Apple & Nelson., 2002).

From this kind of research professors have been focusing on creating better learning communities for diverse academic preparation backgrounds. In Fall Semester 2005, WMU-CEAS implemented First Year Engineering Experience (FYEE), a program to improve student success and retention via the creation of student and faculty learning communities (Tsang & Halderson., 2008). By incorporating these programs students get a first look into the Engineering school that they have chosen and have many upper classmen available to them. By having these learning tools very accessible to freshman they have a better success rate and could change the retention rate as well.

 

References

Apple, D.K.; Nelson, D., "Identification of nonsuccess factors in a large introductory computer science course and constructive interventions for increasing student success," Frontiers in Education, 2002. FIE 2002. 32nd Annual , vol.1, no., pp.T1G-1,T1G-2 vol.1, 6-9 Nov. 2002
doi: 10.1109/FIE.2002.1157915
keywords: {computer science education;educational courses;Process Education;collaborative learning;constructive interventions;introductory computer science course;problem solving skills;self-direct learning skills;student success improvement;Collaboration;Collaborative work;Computer languages;Computer science;Computer science education;Information systems;Laboratories;Mathematics;Performance evaluation;Problem-solving},
URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1157915&isnumber=24585


Tsang, E.; Halderson, C., "Create learning communities to enhance success for students with diverse academic preparation background," Frontiers in Education Conference, 2008. FIE 2008. 38th Annual , vol., no., pp.S1D-16,S1D-21, 22-25 Oct. 2008
doi: 10.1109/FIE.2008.4720639
keywords: {educational courses;engineering education;College of Engineering and Applied Sciences;Western Michigan University;academic preparation background;diverse academic preparation background;engineering curriculum;first-semester mathematics placement;learning communities;nonlearning community students;science technology engineering and mathematics;Accreditation;Chemistry;Communities;Computer science;Educational institutions;Educational programs;Manufacturing;Mathematics;Professional communication;Springs;Learning community;retention of first-time first-year students in STEM},
URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4720639&isnumber=4720249