Educational Methods for Inverted-lecture Computer Science Classrooms to Overcome Common Barriers to STEM Students Success

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New educational pedagogies are emerging in an effort to increase the number of new engineers available to enter the workforce in the coming years. One of the re-occurring themes in these pedagogies is some form of the flipped classroom. Often the additional classroom time gained from flipping is used to reinforce learning objectives. This paper suggests that it might be more beneficial to students if some of that time is used to address common non-cognitive barriers that prevent students from succeeding in the major. This experiment was conducted on a freshman Introductory Computer Science course with students whom are less traditionally prepared. Three different pedagogies were compared: a hybrid lecture-active learning pedagogy, a fully flipped classroom pedagogy, and a fully flipped classroom with added barrier interventions pedagogy. All three groups were in SCALE-UP classrooms. While fully flipping the classroom showed a slight increase to student progression over the hybrid classroom, it was not significant. When barrier interventions were added to address motivation and interest, opportunity, psychosocial skills, cognitive skills, and academic preparedness a significant increase in student progression occurred. This suggests that students might benefit from some classroom time being spent on non-technical skills.



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