Introduction of the Web has had a great impact on our daily lives. Web services technology is expanding and has received significant attention in the software industry under the broader umbrella of service-oriented architecture. Interaction with web-based applications is expected to increase. However, coverage of this topic is generally not provided in early computing courses. This project is expanding a pilot effort that developed learning materials for introductory programming courses (NSF DUE-0837056). Project objectives include improving student learning in introductory courses and increasing faculty adoption of the approach at other institutions.
Students are engaged by developing introductory programs that connect to web services they are familiar with such as social networking sites, search engines, and location-based applications. This is accomplished by providing simplified access to the internet services. Course materials being developed include lecture notes, lab activities, on-line tutorials, programming assignments, and testing materials. Other project outcomes include a web repository for the freely available materials. Empirical studies are designed to measure student performance and engagement with the content.
To encourage faculty to adopt the approach, summer workshops are offered. There is a mini-grant incentive for attendees to support local implementation. Participants agree to attend two workshops and collect assessment results during the academic year that contribute to the overall project. Faculty from twenty-four colleges and universities are expected to participate during the three year project.