Date: July 2006
Creator: Garlick, Ryan & Akl, Robert G.
Description: This paper discusses intra-class competitive assignments in CS2. Abstract: The widespread goals of student retention, introducing larger programming projects, and fostering collaboration among students in computer science courses has led to the inclusion of group projects in many curricula, with task division and collaboration as motivation for students to complete assignments. This paper presents a study in a first-year programming assignment with similar goals, but with methods adopting the contrarian view - having students directly compete with one another in a tournament of their respective software agents. This paper presents the results of a year-long experiment in an intra-class competitive assignment in the second C++ programming course at the University of North Texas in Denton. Metrics of student performance on the assignment, correlation with course grade, student surveys of the project, and retention statistics are presented. Results demonstrating overwhelmingly positive response and high levels of effort among students are submitted, along with remarks on application to student recruiting, retention, and curriculum design.
Contributing Partner: UNT College of Engineering