Lab Partners: If They're Good Enough for the Sciences, Why Aren't They Good Enough for Us?

Author(s): Williams, L., Layman, L.
Venue: Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training
Date: 2007

Type of Experiement: Case Study
Sample Size: 149
Data Collection Method: Survey

Quality
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Link: http://agile.csc.ncsu.edu/lmlayma2/papers/WL07.pdf

Class/Experience Level: Educators

The title of the paper introduces the hypothesis being explored by the authors. "In the natural sciences ... students almost always work with one or more partners in the laboratories...". But, that does not happen in computer science. The authors of this paper conducted two web based surveys, one for natural science educators and one for computer science educators, to compare the views of educators. There are tables in the paper showing percentages of answers for four different categories: Reasons for allowing collaboration, perceived student disadvantages of collaboration, perceived student advantages of collaboration, and educator problems. In the summary, the authors conclude that both types of educators have very similar concerns and experiences, and that computer science educators should attempt to integrate collaboration into classes to benefit the students.

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