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A Blended Learning Approach for an Introductory Computer Science Course

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Sustainable Communication Networks, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
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Roboter und Technik, 28213 Bremen, Germany
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Zentrum für Multimedia in der Lehre, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: João Piedade
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080372
Received: 27 May 2021 / Revised: 6 July 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 22 July 2021
In this paper, we present our experience with redesigning an introductory computer science course for (electrical) engineers with blended learning concepts. It is a large mandatory course with eight credit points over the course of two semesters, where first year electrical engineers learn how to program with Arduino, C and Python. Additionally, they need to cover basic computer science concepts such as binary numbers, Boolean algebra, encodings, finite state machines and object-oriented programming. We designed the course to cover the fields that are most relevant to our students’ future careers. With the new format, students declare they are much more engaged with the course, they drop the course less often and they actually achieve better exam results. We completely re-structured the course, introduced inverted classroom elements and hackathons and we continuously optimized and adapted the course. The main focus is on hands-on-experience and teamwork, which we mostly achieve by the use of hackathons. In this paper, we described the contents and teaching concepts of the course and we discussed the achieved results. View Full-Text
Keywords: blended learning; inverted classroom; programming; Arduino; teaching; electrical engineering; Python; object-oriented programming; data analysis blended learning; inverted classroom; programming; Arduino; teaching; electrical engineering; Python; object-oriented programming; data analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Förster, A.; Dede, J.; Udugama, A.; Förster, A.; Helms, D.; Kniefs, L.; Müller, J.; Gerken, L.; Richter, F.; Kulmann, J. A Blended Learning Approach for an Introductory Computer Science Course. Educ. Sci. 2021, 11, 372. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080372

AMA Style

Förster A, Dede J, Udugama A, Förster A, Helms D, Kniefs L, Müller J, Gerken L, Richter F, Kulmann J. A Blended Learning Approach for an Introductory Computer Science Course. Education Sciences. 2021; 11(8):372. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080372

Chicago/Turabian Style

Förster, Anna, Jens Dede, Asanga Udugama, Alexander Förster, Daniel Helms, Louis Kniefs, Julia Müller, Lars Gerken, Franziska Richter, and Jan Kulmann. 2021. "A Blended Learning Approach for an Introductory Computer Science Course" Education Sciences 11, no. 8: 372. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080372

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