Designing Diversity, Service, and Active Learning For the Common Good in an Undergraduate Computer Science Course

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

According to the literature, Computer Science courses are highly technical but are lacking in soft skills that enable students to develop not only the technical skills but also professional skills such as collaboration, communication within and across cultures, teamwork and knowledge of diverse cultures. In this paper we report on the design and execution of a prototype framework for using active learning to build soft skills and diversity awareness into a service learning component for a database management course. In this course students were given an opportunity to work with a regional Native American organization to create a database solution for a maple syrup operation that needed greater coordination for marketing, distributing and delivering their product across ancestral homelands disrupted by colonialism. Our aim was to test the prototype framework to see if it increased student learning over the traditional final exam and brought greater self-awareness, recognition and respect concerning cultural difference. Students reported that they learned more about the technical aspects of database creation from doing the service learning project than from preparing for the final exam; they also reported greater awareness of cultural diversity. This paper lays out the design of our service learning pedagogy, the test results, and the model we propose for other computer science technical courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 International Conference on Computational Science and Computational Intelligence, CSCI 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1014-1020
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781665458412
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 International Conference on Computational Science and Computational Intelligence, CSCI 2021 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: Dec 15 2021Dec 17 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2021 International Conference on Computational Science and Computational Intelligence, CSCI 2021

Conference

Conference2021 International Conference on Computational Science and Computational Intelligence, CSCI 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas
Period12/15/2112/17/21

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE.

Keywords

  • CCS
  • Computing education
  • Model curricula
  • Professional topics
  • Social and professional topics

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