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INFORMATICS IN EDUCATION, 2007, Vol. 6, No. 1, 215-230
© Institute of Mathematics and Informatics,

ISSN 1648-5831

Variation in Approaches to Lab Practical Classes among Computing Academics

SIMONa, Michael de RAADTb, Anne VENABLESc

aSchool of Design, Communication, and Information Technology, University of Newcastle PO Box 127, Ourimbah, NSW 2258, Australia E-mail: simon@newcastle.edu.au

bDepartment of Mathematics and Computing, University of Southern Queensland Toowoomba, Qld 4350, Australia E-mail: deraadt@usq.edu.au

cSchool of Computer Science and Mathematics, Victoria University PO Box 14428, Melbourne, Vic 8001, Australia E-mail: anne.venables@vu.edu.au

Abstract

As part of a wide-ranging phenomenographic study of computing teachers, we explored their varying understandings of the lab practical class and discovered four distinct categories of description of lab practicals. We consider which of these categories appear comparable with non-lecture classes in other disciplines, and which appear distinctive to computing. An awareness of this range of approaches to conducting practical lab classes will better enable academics to consider which is best suited to their own purposes when designing courses.

Keywords:

computing education, phenomenography, lab practical class


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