Kathleen Teresa Burke
This project seeks to assess and improve upon a new required introductory computer science workshop for first year students at Bard College. It addresses the design and implementation of the course itself, along with the improvements needed in order to continue the program. Many students are not offered computer science courses prior to college; this program has been designed to remedy that by requiring all students to learn key concepts in computer science as a part of their orientation. The program consists of a 90 minute lesson taught by professors with expertise in fields outside of computer science, in addition to student led two-hour ”coding studios” in Graphics, Robotics and Digital Literature.
Participants took a survey based on the Computing Attitudes Survey before and after the program. These surveys were paired using anonymous identification numbers unique to each participating student. This paired data was then analyzed and used to identify changing attitudes towards computer science concepts and themes. Using these results, a new and improved curriculum is designed to be implemented in following years.