S1-DISC2-4 - Evaluating Methods for Students to Identify and Clarify Doubts in Computing Design Courses

1. Innovative Practice Full Paper
Eng Lieh Ouh1 , Benjamin Kok Siew Gan1
1 Singapore Management University

This full paper evaluates the effectiveness of doubts identification and clarification methods applied in undergraduate computing design courses. Many undergraduate courses in computing require students to understand abstract design concepts. Exposed to the design concepts for the first time, students need to be able to identify and clarify their doubts about the abstract concepts in order to make the right design decisions. In this study, we seek to evaluate the effectiveness of six methods that help students to identify and clarify their doubts. These methods vary in their timing (immediate or delayed), communication style (online or face-to-face) and participation style (individual or group-based). We conduct surveys on the effectiveness of these methods in two undergraduate computing design courses, a course on design thinking and another on software architecture design. We evaluate the quantitative and qualitative responses for each method used. Students generally prefer methods with immediate feedback on face-to-face communication with specific questions that allow them to have another perspective of the content covered. Methods that ask self-reflective questions on what they learnt on their own are less preferred based on this survey. This study outcome illustrates that the students require more guidance to be self-directed and wants more immediate face-to-face guidance in clearing doubts on the concepts taught. We hope this study can help educators to compare and choose the suitable methods to draw out and clarify doubts for their students.