Characteristics of the Student-Driven Learning Environment in Computing Education: A Case Study on the Interaction between Educational Design and Study Behavior
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Important learning happens outside organized lectures and labs, but much of the interaction between these educational design constructs and the study behavior of computing students is unknown. In this study, we follow a group of computing students through their first semester in order to explore these dependencies. Through weekly reports, students tracked their study behaviors in a CS1 course. An exploratory cluster analysis was performed, mapping the students' organization, independent study, planning and priorities, time engagement, and use of different study environments. By comparing these aspects of student behavior to design parameters at both the program and course levels we get a holistic understanding of the student-driven learning environment. The results of this analysis confirm that there are close relationships between the educational design and when, where, and how students study. Three characteristics were identified: the home alone tendency, the executive action factor and the organized activities component. These results were used to outline the room for action, which can support computing educators to identify the adjustable educational design parameters that will most significantly affect the students' study behaviors.