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Je77's Comments on NSF ASA Proposal-Oct03

In general, it was okay, but I think the argument could be tighter.

Project Summary

I would mention something like "By conventional assessment, such as retention and WFD rates, the course was quite successful." Then, compare our numbers to other numbers. It doesn't come across that 89% ABC is really outstanding. Then, you can transition to motivating this study:

"While it may seem that our class was successful, we are unable at this time to show that the computer science learning was comparable to a traditional approach. The two classes are too different (different languages, different content, different approach) to be easily compared. We are also not able to show that attitudes towards computer science, rather than media computation, went up. For instance, the same students that reported a 60% interest in a follow-up class, only reported a 9% likelyhood of taking another CS class. This suggests that while students feel they have gained competence in the class material, they don't view that material as computer science. If computer science as a field is serious about addressing non-traditional students, then their attitudes and knowledge about computer science needs to be able to measured in a way that goes beyond simple measures of retention and WFD rates.

We propose..."

You need a period after the Intellectual Merit sentence.

1. Goal: Assessing

When you do your three bullet points on making a difference, add more material. For the first one, add that direct comparisons are fraught with challenges. Also, you may want to bring in previous programming knowledge in here. It's hard to compare 1315 to 1321, because the students are not the same. On the second bullet, mention the engineering class. It's another place to look for differences in attitudes.

2.1 Implementation

You are not motivating the CoWeb stuff as part of this grant. I think it comes across as "the class is good, partially due to collaboration." What does that have to do with assessment. If you bring in that you plan on assessing how class models of interaction (collaboration) affect the motivation of the students, then it becomes relevant. Otherwise, it strays from the point of this grant.

2.3 Dissemination

Is there a completion date for the book?

5 Budget Justification

I'd put in some money for undergraduate student assistants to gather data, as the class size will make it hard for one or two people to gather and code this much data.

Also, should you be putting administrative overhead on there as well, given the college's financial problems. Part of what DeMillo said was that other departments charged administrative staff to grants.

look at social aspects of assessment.
other efforts exists.
going after women as majors vs. underrepresented.
Prior-knowledge of our students versus others.

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