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  • Male student sitting in a library, focused on a computer screen, and looking thoughtful

    Transforming Computer Programming Education with Revel

    By Liz Lebold

    In the computer science department at Houston Community College, instructors Anci Shah and Suma Roa undertook a transformative journey with Revel.

    In 2019, Suma initiated a pilot of Revel. Impressed by the platform’s digital narrative, online homework features, and diverse resources, Suma shared her enthusiasm with her colleagues, prompting the department chair Anci to consider Revel's adoption.

    Revel promotes active learning

    The student learning experience was a key consideration for Anci and her department committee. They saw that, as the number of online courses being created at Houston Community College increased, Revel's interactivity would prove vital to enabling students in those courses to succeed.

    "The concepts are kept to a minimum, and the readings aren't too long, and then there are all those little checks in there,” says Anci. “My students have commented on how helpful that has been."

    Suma echoes this sentiment, praising the variety of practical features in Revel that help promote active learning, including built-in search, note taking, and flashcard functionalities.

    Revel adapts to students’ needs

    Another important factor for the committee was finding a courseware solution that could meet each student wherever they are in their learning journey. They appreciated that Revel provided a bridge for students with varying levels of digital literacy to learn the material and stay engaged in their courses.

    “I have definitely had a lot of students say that Revel really helped them,” Anci says. "I have received feedback that the animations and videos are what helped them understand the material a lot better.”

    Students can test their understanding through quizzes and self-checks in Revel. Suma often advises her students to complete these questions prior to taking assessments because, “they are a good way to gauge their topic mastery and provide ample opportunity for studying."

    Revel's accessibility – specifically via the Revel mobile app – impressed students and instructors alike. Suma notes, "They no longer have any excuses that they don't have their textbook because they always have their phones.”

    Revel makes course administration easier

    The committee also assessed Revel based on LMS integration and publisher support.

    "The grades in Revel are incorporated into our LMS very easily,” says Suma. “We can incorporate them with the click of a button, so that's been very, very helpful." Indeed, she and her colleagues found that integrating Revel into Houston Community College’s existing learning management system helped streamline various administrative processes.

    Overall, Revel surpassed the computer science department’s expectations, leading to its adoption for the courses Program Fundamentals 1, 2, and 3.

    When asked whether she would recommend Revel to other instructors, Anci says definitely and references the overarching goal of Revel: student success.

    “If you are looking at one book versus another, Revel is the one that has all the animations and embedded assessments to help students. Why would you not choose it?” she says. “We just want our students to be successful, and Revel can help.”

    Revel is the clear choice for students and instructors

    Revel was purposely built for students and instructors. The platform has emerged as a catalyst for transformative education, enriching the experiences of computer programming students at Houston Community College and setting a standard for comprehensive, engaging learning.

    Read more about Dr. Anci Shah and Dr. Suma Roa’s experience with Revel in the full instructor spotlight.

    What can Revel do for you and your students? Learn more about Revel.

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