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Motivation and nonmajors in computer science: identifying discrete audiences for introductory courses

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2 Author(s)
Forte, A. ; Graphics, Visualization & Usability, Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; Guzdial, M.

Traditional introductory computer science (CS) courses have had little success engaging non-computer science majors. At the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, where introductory CS courses are a requirement for CS majors and nonmajors alike, two tailored introductory courses were introduced as an alternative to the traditional course. The results were encouraging: more nonmajors succeeded (completed and passed) in tailored courses than in the traditional course, students expressed fewer negative reactions to the course content, and many reported that they would be interested in taking another tailored CS course. The authors present findings from a pilot study of the three courses and briefly discuss some of the issues surrounding the tailored courses for nonmajors: programming, context, choice of language, and classroom culture.

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 2 )