In traditional college teaching, most class time is spent with the instructor lecturing and students passively listening and taking notes. Homework is done individually, and collaboration is penalized as cheating. Instructor-centric teaching methods have repeatedly been found inferior to cooperative learning, in which students work in teams on problems and projects that foster interdependence while maintaining individual accountability. In recent years, the CS education community has enthusiastically embraced two collaborative-learning practices: pair programming and team projects. But why stop there? Classroom time can be devoted to group exercises, and homework assignments can be arranged so that each student plays a role in educating other members of the class. Cooperative learning has been shown to increase retention and boost the performance of at-risk students. This panel will present cooperative-learning exercises that can be used in any class, without special hardware or proprietary software.
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