ACM India and iSIGCSE Chapter Webinar Series on Education

July 21, 2022

ACM India and iSIGCSE Chapter Webinar Series on Education on Monday, August at 06:00 PM IST with Prof. Barbara Ericson

Increasing Active Learning in Introductory Programming Courses

ACM India jointly with iSIGCSE Chapter organizes the next webinar in the Education webinar series on another interesting topic, which discusses an innovative pedagogic approach to increase student engagement through active learning in introductory programming courses.

Register now for this session jointly organized by the ACM India and the iSIGCSE Chapter to be presented on Monday, 1 August 2022 at 06:00 pm IST by Prof. Barbara Ericson, School of Information, University of Michigan, USA.

Registrations are limited, so please register early and secure your spot.

The session is open to all. All educators, academicians, industry professionals and students are welcome to attend the webinar. Feel free to forward this communication to those who would be interested.

Note: You can also stream this webinar on your mobile device, including smartphones and tablets.


60 minutes (including audience Q&A)


Introductory programming courses are often taught with passive lecture and practice that requires students to write code from scratch. These courses are considered hard and often have a high drop-out or failure rate. Students with less prior programming experience are particularly at risk of failing. How do we help more students succeed, especially in very large courses? One of the pedagogical techniques with decades of evidence for its effectiveness is Peer Instruction. Instructors display a hard multiple-choice question about every 10–15 minutes in lecture and students answer first individually and then discuss with a peer and then answer again. Peer Instruction is a type of active learning. Active learning typically has better learning gains than passive learning. Other ways to add more active learning to introductory programming courses is to use interactive eBooks with a variety of practice types with immediate feedback. One of the types of practice that my students and I have been exploring is mixed-up code (Parsons) problems. In these problems students are given mixed-up code that they must place in the correct order.

Bio of the Presenter

Barbara completed her PhD at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her BS in CS at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and her MS in CS at the University of Michigan. She has worked in a variety of research labs including General Motors Research Labs, Bell Communications Research, and the Institute of Paper Science Research. She has authored several books on media computation, which is an approach to teach programming by having students write programs that manipulate media. She has worked in a variety of areas including user experience, artificial intelligence, 3-D graphics, medical applications, databases, and computing education. She holds two patents in database modifications for case-based reasoning. Her research interests include computing education, learning analytics, artificial intelligence, and user experience. She creates and tests interactive electronic books for introductory computing courses. Interactive eBooks have a great potential for improving learning through active learning, immediate feedback, and spaced practice. She was the recipient of the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award in 2010.


Viraj Kumar, ACM India Council member & Department of CSA, IISc Bangalore