In modern society, computer science (CS) professionals are necessary in the workforce. A growing number of fields and disciplines require the analytical and programming skills that come from a CS education. Despite the growing demand for programmers, the dropout rate within undergraduate CS programs remains high. In an effort to improve retention and make CS more accessible, I prototyped a mobile application that will help students through the principal deterrents that students face in their undergraduate years. Utilizing survey responses from 51 peers I determined the core courses and concepts within the CS curriculum that provoked the most concern to select the topics covered in the mobile application. The results show that the major barrier courses are CSE 310: Data Structures and Algorithms, CSE 340: Principles of Programming Languages, and CSE 355: Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science. Also using interviews and market research, I went through an iterative design process until I arrived at my final prototype that provides users a visual timeline of their program, examples for each individual topic, the ability to interact with other users, and create quizzes covering content they learned. This prototype is intended to lead to a fully developed application that will prepare and encourage students to further their professional careers in CS.
- Prototyping a Mobile Application for Undergraduate Computer Science Education
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