Putting the Computer Science in Computing Education Research
Diana Franklin makes the point in CACM that computing education research is a CS issue.
What do these events have in common? Computer scientists identified a critical need in computer science education (and education in general) and developed something new to fill that need, released it, and scaled it without rigorous, scientific experiments to understand in what circumstances they are appropriate. Those involved have the best of intentions, working to create a solution in an area with far too little research. A compelling need for greater access to computing education, coupled with a dire shortage of well-supported computing education researchers, has led to deployments that come before research. High-profile failures hurt computer science’s credibility in education, which in turn hurts our future students. This imbalance between the demand and supply and the chasm between computer science and education creates an opportunity for some forward-thinking departments.
If computer science wants to be a leader rather than a spectator in this field, computer science departments at Ph.D.-granting institutions must hire faculty in computing education research (CER) to transform the face of education—in undergraduate CS teaching, K–12 CS education, and education in general.