Interactive learning-increasing student participation through shorter exercise cycles

Stephan Krusche, Andreas Seitz, Jürgen Börstler, Bernd Bruegge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In large classes, there is typically a clear separation between content delivery in lectures on the one hand and content deepening in practical exercises on the other hand. This temporal and spatial separation has several disadvantages. In particular, it separates students' hearing about a new concept from being able to actually practice and apply it, which may decrease knowledge retention. To closely integrate lectures and practical exercises, we propose an approach which we call interactive learning: it is based on active, computer based and experiential learning, includes immediate feedback and learning from the reection on experience. It decreases the time between content delivery and content deepening to a few minutes and allows for exible and more efficient learning. Shorter exercise cycles allow students to apply and practice multiple concepts per teaching unit directly after they first heard about them. We applied interactive learning in two large software engineering classes with 300 students each and evaluated its use qualitatively and quantitatively. The students' participation increases compared to traditional classes: until the end of the course, around 50% of the students attend class and participate in exercises. Our evaluations show that students' learning experience and exam grades correlate with the increased participation. While educators need more time to prepare the class and the exercises, they need less time to review exercise submissions. The overall teaching effort for instructors and teaching assistants does not increase.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th Australasian Computing Education Conference, ACE 2017
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450348232
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2017
Event19th Australasian Computing Education Conference, ACE 2017 - Geelong, Australia
Duration: 31 Jan 20173 Feb 2017

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference19th Australasian Computing Education Conference, ACE 2017


  • Active learning
  • Computing education
  • Experiential learning
  • Feedback
  • Reection
  • Software engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Interactive learning-increasing student participation through shorter exercise cycles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this