In at the Deep End: An Activity-Led Introduction to First Year Creative Computing (pages 1852–1866)
E. F. Anderson, C. E. Peters, J. Halloran, P. Every, J. Shuttleworth, F. Liarokapis, R. Lane and M. Richards
Article first published online: 11 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8659.2012.03066.x
Misconceptions about the nature of the computing disciplines pose a serious problem to university faculties that offer computing degrees, as students enrolling on their programmes may come to realise that their expectations are not met by reality. This frequently results in the students' early disengagement from the subject of their degrees which in turn can lead to excessive ‘wastage’, that is, reduced retention. In this paper, we report on our academic group's attempts within creative computing degrees at a UK university to counter these problems through the introduction of a 6 week long project that newly enrolled students embark on at the very beginning of their studies. This group project, involving the creation of a 3D etch-a-sketch-like computer graphics application with a hardware interface, provides a breadth-first, activity-led introduction to the students' chosen academic discipline, aiming to increase student engagement while providing a stimulating learning experience with the overall goal to increase retention.