Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Mindfulness and contemplative practices: The voice of the student
    There is a large spectrum of Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices (MCPs) which are gaining traction in the classroom. Many of these are aimed at reducing stress, reflecting on different points of view, expressing empathy, appreciating diversity and reducing absenteeism to name a few. Some of these practices hold promise to possibly improve attention, concentration and memory capabilities. However, there is no agreed consensus for what students want from MCPs (if anything), if they enjoy them, and if they want to engage in them. Further, it is likely that given the personal nature of MCPs, any findings are likely to be discipline and environment specific, if not specific to the cohort, or even the individual, warranting each educator to determine where their unique students stand. This paper draws motivation from previous empirical research, and the desire of the authors to capture the students? voice on what they want, and what they think works. The environment is a BSc in IT programme in Dublin, Ireland. Students were invited to participate in a mindfulness and contemplative practice workshop in which a number of MCPs were explored with faculty guidance. The MCPs were tailored using results of a preworkshop questionnaire completed by students, with inspiration drawn from the Tree of Contemplative Practices (The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, 2015). During the workshop various practical sessions were led and results were captured through a postworkshop questionnaire. Results show a significant interest in MPCs, a range of motivations for engaging in them, and diverse practice interests. Overall, a high level of student engagement is a substantial outcome. This paper looks to inform educators seeking to introduce simple contemplative pedagogy practices in the classroom, hopefully making their first attempts more fruitful by allowing them to take into account their students? perceptions and desires. This can be determined by running their own workshop with their own students, or by using the results from ours, and making adjustments as required.
      381
  • Publication
    Reflective Learning Journals in Computer Science: The Student Experience
    This paper is centred on undergraduate students enrolled on a BSc in IT programme in Dublin, Ireland, with a view to enhancing student engagement in learning through reflexivity. Reflective learning places the emphasis on the self as the source of learning and is inherently an individual and interactive process. Boud et al. (1985) state that reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over and evaluate it. It is this working with experience that is important in learning. The authors developed and evaluated a reflective learning journal tool that was used to capture the reflective learning processes within students studying computer programming, a subject known to present significant learning barriers for 1st year BSc computing students. In addition, existing student study habit behaviours were investigated to determine which approaches, materials and sources they had a preference for, to further shape the delivery of module content in the future.
      416
  • Publication
    Introducing Contemplative Pedagogy to the Classroom: Implementation, Experience and Effects on Concentration
    While there is no single theory or praxis of contemplative pedagogy (Coburn, 2011), there is a wide spectrum of Mindfulness Meditation Practices (MMPs) being used in the classroom at a growing number of institutions. Many of these are aimed outcomes such as reducing stress, reflection (including self-reflection), expressing empathy, appreciating diversity and reducing absenteeism. Some of these practices also hold promise to possibly improve cognition, concentration and memory capabilities. This paper explores the experience of implementing a one-pointedness MMP in the classroom at an Irish higher education institution. The focus is on simplicity of implementation, minimal disruption, student engagement with the practice and any positive effects this may bring to the concentration/attention abilities of students. Specifically, a one-pointedness meditation is practiced by students at the outset of each lecture in a specified module. At the end of the lecture period, students are given a form of Wilkins¿ counting test, a measure of sustained focused concentration. Results are then compared to the performance of the same cohort in another module with no one-pointedness exercise, serving as control. Results show a small and borderline statistically-significant increase in the concentration abilities of students in the module that includes the one-pointedness meditation. Students also participated in a questionnaire and a discussion group, reflecting on their experience with the practice, and their opinions on introducing MMPs into their learning. Overall the student experience was much more positive than the authors had envisioned, even hoped for. At a minimum the results of this paper can inform educators looking to introduce simple contemplative pedagogy practices in the classroom, hopefully making their first attempts more fruitful.  
      113
  • Publication
    Effective compiler error message enhancement for novice programming students
    Programming is an essential skill that many computing students are expected to master. However, programming can be difficult to learn. Successfully interpreting compiler error messages (CEMs) is crucial for correcting errors and progressing toward success in programming. Yet these messages are often difficult to understand and pose a barrier to progress for many novices, with struggling students often exhibiting high frequencies of errors, particularly repeated errors. This paper presents a control/intervention study on the effectiveness of enhancing Java CEMs. Results show that the intervention group experienced reductions in the number of overall errors, errors per student, and several repeated error metrics. These results are important as the effectiveness of CEM enhancement has been recently debated. Further, generalizing these results should be possible at least in part, as the control group is shown to be comparable to those in several studies using Java and other languages.
      914Scopus© Citations 68