Conference paper

A snapshot of studio based learning: Code reviews as a means of community building

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Studio Based Learning is an educational process that has found more success in the humanities than the sciences. In these disciplines most learning is done in the studio, with apprentices and journeymen working at the elbow of a practicing master. When apprentices join a studio, their education progresses from the point of their current knowledge through journeyman status while working on real projects that become part of a lasting portfolio. Student work is subject to constant review by both peers and mentors as a means of providing valuable feedback and to solidify the shared sense of community. The Studio Based Learning presented in this session demonstrates the possibility of using the approach to advance computer science education at the university and begin to establish the community of practice that will improve the profession beyond university walls. This Collaborative Activity Session will show one aspect of this approach in the context of a real course, by re-casting a typical Code Review as a Studio Review using principles from Writers' Workshops and the Touchstones Discussion Project. Using code provided by Educators' Symposium participants, we will show how a typically uncomfortable activity can be turned into a positive, enriching experience. By making space to discuss student concerns about the code they write, we hope to engage students better and to build mutual respect within the community. After asking participants to experience a constructive small group discussion, we will engage in a larger discussion of how to use these techniques throughout the curriculum.