Abstract—Addressing the needs of students in entry-level Computer Science courses, an online social-network-based learning environment, PeerSpace, was successfully developed to enhance student learning and performance. PeerSpace integrates a suite of Web 2.0 tools that promote student interactions on course-related topics as well as purely social matters. Part of this suite is a practice tool, Preparation Station, developed to strengthen and reinforce students’ grasp of concepts learned in class, to encourage student participation in PeerSpace, and to trigger course-related communication among students. PeerSpace is implemented atop the open-source Elgg social network framework. This paper presents design and implementation details of Preparation Station as well as an assessment of its usefulness and effectiveness.
Index Terms—Computer supported collaborative learning, computer uses in education, online learning tool, CS1 and CS2.
Cen Li, Zhijiang Dong, and Roland H. Untch are with the Department of
Computer Science, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
37132 USA (e-mail: Cen.Li@ mtsu.edu, Zhijiang.Dong@mtsu.edu,
Divya Jagadeesh was a graduate student in Middle Tennessee State University. She is now with Hospital Corporation of America, Nashville, Tennessee 37203 USA (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Cen Li, Zhijiang Dong, Roland H. Untch, and Divya Jagadeesh, "Developing an Interactive Practice Tool in PeerSpace for First Year Computer Science Students," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 48-53, 2013.