An Active Learning Module to Introduce Students to the Importance of Flowcharts and Technical Documentation

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Journal Title

Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics






The nature of problems typically tackled in initial programming courses can lead students to dismiss problem solving techniques and processes. Faculty and students in Programming 1 and 2 classes are prone to focus on the mechanics and syntax of programming at the expense of building increasingly complex and realistic models of the solution. To motivate undergraduate students to accept the importance of flowcharts, pseudo-code, documentation, and other development tools, we present a series of active learning lessons for introductory programming classes built and tested at Valparaiso University. These lessons introduce development tools and problem solving as vital components of an overall solution and provide opportunities for students to see their value in real world applications. Following the lessons, 100% of the students recognized the importance of development tools, and 95% of the students identified a desire to learn more about how they can be used.


Presented at the International Conference on Education and Information Systems, Technologies and Applications, Orlando, Florida July 8 - 11, 2017.