Enhancing Programming Lectures Using Interactive Web-Based Lecture Slides — Paul Albinson

Teaching programming online via the web, I love it! But, it is known that programming is a difficult subject to teach and keep students engaged and motivated about. Also programming results are frequently found to be lower than for other subjects (Bennedsen & Caspersen, 2007; Jenkins, 2002; Robins, Rountree, & Rountree, 2003). Therefore, the challenge is to find a way of improving programming education to address these problems.

Pauls proposal is to develop web-based presentations that can include more advanced features like demonstrations of code with which students can interact, IWBLS. Because it is created with reveal.js, you can add (JavaScript) code to the slides. Furthermore, students can personalize the slide by adding nodes and changing the colors or fonts.

It looks like this:


Slide move along while Paul is presenting, but I myself can also move the slides!

He did a case study to validate his approach, on an introductory JavaScript course. Students seemed to really like it, for example, when asked whether they would recommend the session is repeated in future years there were 97% positive responses (35 students), 69.44% agreed (25 students) and 27.78% strongly agreed (10 students), with unfortunately the remaining 3% strongly disagreeing (1 student).

Paul also asked them to compare to traditional (PowerPoint based) lectures. When asked if they felt they learned more in the lecture compared to regular lectures the majority of responses were positive (58% – 21 students), with 38.89% agreeing (14 students) and 19.44% strongly agreeing (7 students), and there were only 2.78% negative responses (1 student) which were disagree responses. 38.89% (14 students) however chose “Neither Agree or Disagree” perhaps meaning they felt they learned the same amount compared to regular lectures or it could mean they wanted to avoid answering the question or they didn’t understand the question. When asked about if they enjoyed the lecture more in comparison to regular lecturers there was less neutrality with only 16.67% saying “Neither Agree or Disagree” (6 students). A much larger proportion of the responses were positive (81% – 29 students) with 58.33% agreeing (21 students) and 22.22% strongly agreeing (8 students); also, just like the previous question, 2.78% disagreed (1 student). Indecision aside this is very encouraging as those with an opinion were mostly positive about the style of lecture and there was only 2.78% negativity (1 student) on both questions.