Some UT Dallas faculty members went over and above the essentials of online learning to keep students engaged while they worked remotely.
Dr. Jey Veerasamy, associate professor of instruction in computer science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, put together online tech lectures to give students who were homebound something to do during the second week of spring break.
He assembled tech talks and tutorials by UT Dallas engineering and computer science faculty as well as faculty in the Naveen Jindal School of Management, the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, and the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He also tapped global experts whose topics centered on data science and artificial intelligence, biology, cybersecurity, creative coding, game development and the “internet of things.”
“It worked flawlessly. Using the Webex Training tool, organizers could mute all attendees so that the presenter was not interrupted by accidental background noise,” Veerasamy said.
About 50 to 60 attendees showed up online the first day, though participation varied based on topic. Most attendees were UT Dallas students, but a few professionals and high school students also joined the sessions, Veerasamy said.
Veerasamy, who is also director of the UT Dallas Center for Computer Science Education & Outreach, adapted coding tutoring to an online format for area school children through the K-12 outreach program. Computer science graduate students teach most sessions, which include helping elementary students learn coding using Lego-style building blocks and teaching middle school students hands-on coding with free-form typing. Nearly 50 families have signed up for the sessions for their homebound children.
“Students who use these tools do extremely well when they reach high school and take AP [Advanced Placement] computer science courses that use Java. Without such preparation, typical high school students spend a lot more time learning coding, tend to rush through the material and get frustrated with the learning experience,” Veerasamy said.
Source | UT Dallas News Center
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 3,315 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,110 master’s students, 165 Ph.D. students, 52 tenure-track faculty members, and 44 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2019. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.