Volume 8

Volume 8, Number 39

June 29, 2010

9 pages562 K bytes

Peer Tutoring in Programming: Lessons Learned

Jill Gerhardt
Richard Stockton College
Pomona, New Jersey 08240 USA

Michael Olan
Richard Stockton College
Pomona, New Jersey 08240 USA

Abstract: This article describes our experience with peer tutoring in introductory programming courses. This tutoring concept was one of the integral support services out of five student services, which were part of a National Science Foundation Grant, designed to improve education, increase retention, improve professional development and employability, and increase placement in graduate schools for Computer Science and Information Systems or Mathematics majors. In addition, an emphasis was placed on strategies that could make the support services female- and minority-friendly. In the review of the literature, reasons are delineated as to why tutoring can be particularly valuable for females and minorities. After the peer tutoring program was initiated, data was collected. This paper includes results from a questionnaire administered to students in programming classes over a two-year period in which the free peer tutoring was available. The make-up of the students, frequency of tutoring, evaluation of tutors and services, and tutor comments are included. Suggestions concerning how to improve the peer tutoring service are provided. Subjective data of the tutoring program indicates that it was a success. Objective data on the students exposed to the five support services demonstrates success of the program as a whole.

Keywords: tutoring, peer tutoring, programming. NSF, females, minorities

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Recommended Citation: Gerhardt and Olan (2010). Peer Tutoring in Programming: Lessons Learned. Information Systems Education Journal, 8 (39). http://isedj.org/8/39/. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2009: §3532. ISSN: 1542-7382.)