Supporting active learning through commodity and open source solutions

Jesse Eickholt, John Roush, Patrick Seeling, Thiruvarangan Vedantham, Matthew Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Active learning has demonstrated value in STEM education and various meta analyses show improvements in student performance when making use of active learning pedagogy and active learning classrooms. One limiting factor to extending the reach of active learning is cost. Many models for state-of-the-art active learning environments make use of tools and infrastructure through which students can connect their own devices and share their digital artifacts in real time with their teammates and the entire class. For computing disciplines, the desire to make use of this type of technology is intuitive as it allows students to see alternative solutions, inspire confidence in student capabilities and can mimic pair programming practices used in industry. Still, retro fitting existing spaces or new construction of state-of-the-art active learning environments and the installation of standard, supporting technology can be cost prohibitive for many institutions, indicating a need for alternative implementations to active learning technology which are applicable to a wider audience. In this work we describe the construction, use and initial evaluation of commodity hardware and open source software to support active learning which we term Practical Active Learning Stations (or PALS).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFIE 2017 - Frontiers in Education, Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781509059195
StatePublished - Dec 12 2017
Event47th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2017 - Indianapolis, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2017Oct 21 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference47th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Active learning
  • Educational technology


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