Adapting the Studio Based Learning Methodology to Computer Science Education

  • Paula Alexandra SilvaEmail author
  • Blanca J. Polo
  • Martha E. Crosby


Over the last two decades, researchers have explored a variety of approaches to improving computing education. These have included innovations in pedagogy, analyzing student programming errors and in the programming languages and environments used to introduce computing to novices. Recent research projects have depicted Studio-Based Learning (SBL) as a successful approach to teaching computer science students. In this chapter, we describe using Studio-Based Learning as a pedagogical approach in an online introductory Computer Science 1 (CS1) course. The studio-based instructional model emphasizes learning activities in which students (a) construct personalized solutions to assigned computing problems, and (b) present solutions to their instructors and peers for feedback and discussion within the context of design critiques. For SBL to be effective, assignments to be critiqued must be solvable by a variety of thinking paths. Building upon the identification of students’ most frequent programming errors, we implemented SBL sessions and analyzed the impacts compared to sessions that did not employ the SBL methodology. The online nature of this class allowed for a rich collection of data and the integral recording of the sessions. In addition to the students’ performance, motivation and perception of their learning process, the analysis of this data provided insight into students’ thought processes.


Computer science Education Studio-Based learning Online education Interdisciplinary 



This project was funded by National Science Foundation award CNS-0722323 and CNS-0939157. Contributions by other members of the research team—Patricia Donohue and Rita Vick—are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maynooth UniversityMaynoothIreland
  2. 2.Leeward CollegeHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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