Over the past two summers Dr. Joe Chase, a professor in the department mainly teaching Computer Science II, has been working with students to help other students. They have created tutorials using PowerPoint and video for various sections of the Computer Science II course that past students have struggled with when learning the Java language. Students who have excelled at using the Java language create the tutorials. Because these students have also experienced the struggles of learning a new programming language, other students have an easier time understanding.
The project launched in the summer of 2012 with only two students creating tutorials. The project has grown significantly since then and this past summer, six students were making and testing the tutorials. The tutorials cover everything from the basics of using eclipse to more complex concepts such as using threads and Slick.
Students in Dr. Chase’s classes are using these tutorials right now. It is a valuable resource for the students and can make a huge difference in the grade they receive in the course. It also is a tremendous relief to Dr. Chase, allowing him to spend more time helping students with specific issues a student is having and less time explaining how to use different features of the language.
Dr. Chase hopes to one day extend this project to help more than only students at RU. He hopes to use these videos to gain interest of high school students in Radford’s computer science program and at the same time assisting them with any questions they may have come across when using Java. Nevertheless, the project is still young and will need to grow and mature before this will be possible.
However, with professors and students working together, Radford University’s computer science program will reach more students.