Recent surveys indicate that employers seek candidates with broad “professional” skills in communication, teamwork, information processing, critical thinking, and problem solving. At the same time, faculty often feel pressure to “cover” more course content and feel there is not enough time for students to learn key concepts and also develop these skills. Faculty also feel students are disengaged, do not ask or answer questions, and struggle to think critically and solve problems. What more could faculty do to help students engage in the classroom, master content, and develop important skills?
Imagine a classroom where student teams actively collaborate to process information; think critically about problems; identify and evaluate possible solutions; and share insights and questions with each other. This starts on the first day of my first CS course, when students with no programming experience use a number-guessing game to develop key ideas in algorithm complexity analysis (see description in Simon et al.11). This continues through advanced courses such as artificial intelligence and programming languages. A graduate noted this approach “actually prepared me with hands-on experience in performing tasks that I was immediately required to complete when I began my job. The practice … gave me a noticeable edge during my internship that led to me being hired.” No entries found Log in to Read the Full Article Sign In Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber. Need Access? Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features. Create a Web Account If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site. Join the ACM Become a member to take full advantage of ACM’s outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits. Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly. Purchase the Article Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.