Blended Learning for the Softer Side of Computing

Abstract

Computing students tend to like ‘2+2=4’ types of modules, where the topics are clear and logical and have a definite right answer. They like structured materials and this ties in well with their programming skills. However, most computing students will end up interacting with non-computing personnel in the workplace and this can sometimes be a challenge for them. In recent years, industry leaders have said that computing students need to improve their soft skills. They want students who are not only technically competent, but can also communicate well with others. This paper describes two different university courses that use Moodle to provide a blended learning environment for students. Course A (n=75) focuses on technical communication skills for third year computing students, while course B (n=130) focuses on digital innovation and enterprise. Both courses make extensive use of Moodle, not only for lecture notes, but also for quizzes, group wikis, questionnaires and webinars. Moodle enables the lecturer to deliver materials in a variety of ways as well as the option to receive feedback from students throughout the semester. This is especially important as many of the students are outside their comfort zone in these modules. This paper notes some of the problems that can occur and provides suggestions for future improvements.



Author Information
Monica Ward, Dublin City University, Ireland

Paper Information
Conference: ECTC2015
Stream: Moodle and Classroom Teaching

This paper is part of the ECTC2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21