PALS: Practical Active Learning Stations

PALS is an acronym for Practical Active Learning Stations. These stations are build from commodity hardware and utilize open source software to transform and inprove existing learning environments for Computer Science and STEM students. It work is sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation (IUSE #1608043).


Active Learning and Active Learning Classrooms have proven themselves as a valuable means to better engage STEM students, enhance their learning experience and increase their performance with respect to learning outcomes. One difficulty in providing more student access to Active Learning Classrooms is the associated cost of constructing or retrofitting existing classrooms is expensive and cost prohibitive for many institutions. Newer, more economical tools and approaches are needed to increase access and the evaluation of this new technology will add to a growing body of knowledge as to how Active Learning Technology and pedagogy work together to enhance student collaboration in the classroom and increase student performance and satisfaction in introductory Computer Science courses.

This project will develop, deploy and evaluate an economical means of adapting existing classrooms to facilitate Active Learning for Computer Science students. Lightweight, commodity hardware running flexible, open-source software will be used to create a network of self-contained practical, active learning stations (PALS). These stations will then be deployed in an existing classroom to transform it into a space which provides similiar functionality to a traditional Active Learning Classroom. The effectiveness of the PALS system will be evaluated through qualitative and quantitative data collected on student learning outcomes for CS1 and CS2 and perceived learning experience.



For more information regarding the PALS system, contact Dr. Jesse Eickholt.