Defining Computing Education Research at University of South Florida
I just recently visited the computing education research web pages at the University of South Florida. It’s an interesting contrast with the post about how those of us at Georgia Tech do computing education research. The definition of the field is pretty much the same, but with different emphases and priorities.
Computing Education Research belongs to this last category. Discipline-based educational research has been pioneered in disciplines such as Math and Physics for decades. It has been embraced by Faculty from the various computing disciplines for a little less longer but with great enthusiasm. The objective here is to conduct formal educational research while leveraging expertise in the domain being taught. Often, CER faculty will find themselves partnering with education researchers as they validate how educational theories or frameworks fit or may be adapted to address the specific learning barriers encountered by their students. Again, a CER Faculty may or may not be directly teaching the courses related to their research focus; e.g. a faculty interested in conducting research on the pedagogy of programming might partner with a colleague who will help him experiment with various interventions and measure their impact on student learning. The key here is to conduct educational research with expertise on the nature of the discipline being taught.