Laura Dillon


Activity Date 
June 1, 2013
Target Completion Date 
June 24, 2014
Goal statement 
Increase persistence, engagement, confidence, community, and skills while also helping students improve grades.


Michigan State University
Computer Science and Engineering
Laura Dillon
East Lansing
Activity Description 
Develop and deliver a 1-credit hour 'Computational Thinking Lab' (CTL) -- a support class for Introduction to Computer Programming that utilizes NCWIT Best Practices, including Peer-Led Team Learning, positive student-faculty and student-student interaction & meaningful assignments.
Progress On Activity 
Materials were created and the class was piloted in fall 2013. The class is offered now in the fall and spring semesters every year. See Course materials are updated each semester based on feedback from evaluation forms and to synchronize with the pacing of our Introduction to Computer Programming class (CSE 231). To review materials from the most recent offering of the CTL, follow the link at
Lessons Learned 
Evaluation results from the AY 2013 offering of the CTL: * 77% of CTL students “agree” or “strongly agree” that it increased their enjoyment of programming. *Interest in a computing career increased significantly (p<.05) from BEFORE the CTL course To AFTER the CTL course. *78% of CTL students “agree” or “strongly agree” that they belong in the major BEFORE CTL participation compared to 94% AFTER CTL participation. * 90% of CTL students “agree” or “strongly agree” that the supporting class increased their confidence in computing * 55% reported “no” programming experience prior to CSE231 * CSE231 students with CTL support achieved average grade of 2.79 compared to 2.35 for students without CTL support
Goal tag(s)