Teaching Matters

Next RSC Webinar on Monday 29th February

RSC Webinar Series

Monday 29th February 2016, 1-1.45pm

Evaluating the effect of a student peer mentoring approach for mature students undertaking computer programming at foundation level

Nevan Bermingham
Hospitality, Management & Tourism, DIT

This webinar will discuss a new study which investigates if a peer mentoring structure for mature students at Foundation Level has an effect on their understanding of programming threshold concepts compared to traditional class only teaching approaches. Mature students undertaking the coding module on DIT’s Access Foundation Programme traditionally have difficulty understanding the computer science material, including threshold concepts in programming. Mature students tend to have lower levels of prior technology familiarity and tend not to have a prior educational background where they would not have encountered programming before. The traditional face-to-face method usually involves a “step-by-step” approach whereby the teacher demonstrates the task, students observe and then practice. The aim of the doctoral research is to explore if a peer mentoring approach will build student confidence in programming by providing structured peer mentoring supports that can run in tandem with the lab environment and outside the class.