As previously discussed, we are moving towards integrating more opportunities for collaborative and/or cooperative learning in our first year classes. We have been trialling aspects of this for many years, as those who participated in the small group worked example lectures in Computer Science 1A might remember.
From 2011, we will be making use of the new collaborative teaching space in the new Engineering building for weekly collaborative workshop sessions in our introductory classes. These workshop sessions will provide students with the opportunity to work in small groups, to work through worked examples in their group and as a class, and to discuss good ways of approaching and solving problems.
We are redesigning our main first year lab (the mac lab) to accommodate this kind of teaching as well.
In case you are interested I thought I would link to some papers that talk about the basis behind these approaches to learning, relevant to Computer Science Education:
If you would like more information, you can search for cooperative learning or collaborative learning at the ACM Digital Library: http://www.acm.org/dl