Unchaining Computer Science Students from the Desktop


Prompted partly by potential space release and reuse, and also by international trends in moving away from desktop computer learning environments and traditional classroom set-ups, this project has explored alternatives to requiring computer science (and other) students' use of fixed desktop computers in rows facing the front of the computer laboratory. Although many studies and reports detail how mobile computing, especially tablet and smart phone use, have been replacing desktops, certain disciplines (particularly engineering and sciences) have continued to rely on the greater computing power available in the desktop. This has resulted in, amongst other things, a continued enforcement of traditional classroom seating arrangements where rows of individual students face a single teacher at the front – an arrangement widely as non-conducive to optimal student collaboration and learning. This paper looks at alternatives to current desktop laboratory layouts, including other desktop configurations, and alternative device use; and examines how readily current Computer Science undergraduate curricula could be modified to allow the alternatives. It also reports on opinions and concerns of the related stakeholders, including teachers, students, and technical support staff. Finally, the paper offers some conclusions and suggestions for further action

Author Information
Dave Towey, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, China

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2014
Stream: STEM (science

This paper is part of the ECE2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon