Expectations of Computing and Other STEM students: A Comparison for Different Class Levels, or (CSE &# x2260; STEM-CSE) &# x007C; course level

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Conference Proceeding

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Students begin each new course with a set of expectations. These expectations are formed from their experiences in their major, class level, culture, skills, etc. However, faculty and the students are often not on the same page with respect to expectations even though faculty provide students with course syllabi. It is crucial for faculty to understand students' expectations to maximize students' learning, satisfaction, and success. Furthermore, it would promote classroom transparency. There would be no hidden unstated expectations; disappointments during the course can potentially be minimized. We present the results of a survey focused on understanding student expectations. Specifically, we focus on examining the differences in expectations of the students of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) courses and non-computing STEM courses. We present our analysis and observations of the results using aggregate data for all students at all class levels. We observe various differences and similarities among the STEM fields. Identifying differences is crucial since many non-computing STEM majors are enrolled in computing courses, especially in the lower level courses. We provide a detailed comparison among sophomore and senior level courses in computing, biology and chemistry courses. We also compare sophomore and senior CSE courses. Finally, we discuss the importance of paying attention to all students' needs and expectations. Armed with this knowledge, faculty members can increase transparency in the classroom, student satisfaction, and possibly student retention.