Evaluating the Benefits of Team-Based Learning in a Systems Programming Class

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Conference Proceeding

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In this Research-to-Practice Full Paper, we present the results of adopting Team-Based Learning (TBL) for teaching a Sophomore-level Systems Programming course. The goal of TBL is to "provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in the classroom to solve problems rather than just covering content." Based on the performance of the students in the course taught with TBL, we found that TBL had a statistically significant impact on student performance in 2 of the 5 programming assignments. Additionally, the end-of-semester student survey indicated that 88% of the students said that the team-based learning activities helped them understand the material better. Students mentioned that they felt like they belonged in Computer Science (fostering a sense of community in large classrooms) and frequently studied with some of their team members for the course assignments. Compared to a previous offering of the course that was purely lecture-based, the class as a whole received higher final grades and performed better on all of the programming assignments.