TOWARDS A VISCOS COMMUNITY: ANALYSIS OF AN ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAM

L. Nagel, J. Suhonen, and E. Sutinen

Keywords

Computer science education, collaborative learning, virtual community, elearning

Abstract

ViSCoS (Virtual Studies of Computer Science) is an online computer science program targeted primarily at Finnish high-school students. The program covers the first-year-university-level courses of the subject. At the time of ViSCoS’s extension beyond highschool students and over the language barrier, a need to improve the attrition rate among course beginners was identified. Perspectives gleaned from a literature review suggest analysing the current course design from the collaborative learning perspective, in order to increase retention rates. The results indicate that the program can be developed further by utilizing more tools for participating in the learning community. It still remains an open question how much of collaboration is a cultural question.

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