Creating a More Equitable CS Course through Peer-Tutoring

The Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges / April 2020

This paper describes the effects of a newly implemented peer-tutoring program at Humboldt State University. While the overall benefit of tutoring in students’ learning is documented in research, we aim to look into the impact peer tutoring has in closing achievement gaps and creating a more inclusive learning environment. We collected and analyzed three semesters worth of students’ data. Statistical methods were used to test whether tutoring improves students’ success rate in one of our gateway and bottleneck courses – Computer Science Foundations 2. Our analyse suggest that the peer tutoring program has narrowed the achievement gap for Underrepresented Groups (URGs), Pell-Grant recipients, Females, and First-Generation students. Overall, tutored students had a success rate that is 17% higher than untutored ones.