Posts tagged ‘computing education research’
Hadi Partovi of Code.org has a blog post (see here) with data from their on-line classes. He’s making the argument that classroom teachers are super important for diversity and for student success.
Learning #1: Classrooms progress farther than students studying alone
In the graph below, the X axis is student age, the Y axis is their average progress in our courses. The blue line is students in classrooms with teachers. The red line is students studying without a classroom/teacher.
Learning #3: The ethnic backgrounds of students with teachers are impressively diverse
The data below doesn’t come from all students, because (for privacy reasons) we do not allow students to tell us their ethnic background. This chart was collected via an opt-in survey of teachers in the U.S. offering our courses, and as such is susceptible to inaccuracy. The picture it paints helps confirm our thesis that by integrating computer science into younger-aged classrooms in public schools, we can increase the diversity of students learning computer science.
I’m an advisor on the EarSketch project, and it’s really cool. Recommended.
Next month, the EarSketch team will be offering a workshop at SIGCSE in Kansas City. This is a great opportunity to learn more about EarSketch, get hands on experience with the curriculum and environment, and learn how to use EarSketch in your classroom. This year’s workshop will also offer advice on integrating EarSketch into Computer Science Principles courses, though the workshop is of relevance to anyone teaching an introductory computing course.
For more information about SIGCSE, visit http://sigcse2015.sigcse.org/index.html
To register for the workshop, please visit https://www.regonline.com/register/login.aspx?eventID=1618015&MethodId=0&EventsessionId=
Please contact Jason Freeman (email@example.com) with any questions.
Workshop #20: Computer Science Principles with EarSketch
Saturday, March 7th, 2015
3 pm – 6 pm
Jason Freeman, Georgia Institute of Technology
Brian Magerko, Georgia Institute of Technology
Regis Verdin, Georgia Institute of Technology
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.
What are the Barriers and Supports to Intro CS in school? BASICS – The Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education
I’m an advisor on the BASICS project at U. Chicago — the Barriers and Supports to Introductory CS in schools. I visited them in December after our semester ended. The link below goes to a page with some of the first results of the project.
Computer Science teachers in Chicago and Washington, DC completed a questionnaire in Spring 2014 that, among other things, asked them to identify the three biggest supports for and barriers to their computer science classes. All of the teachers were using Exploring Computer Science (ECS) instructional materials.
They have links on the page referenced above to the top barriers and supports that they heard from ECS teachers in those districts. Top barrier for teachers: their own lack of self-efficacy. Top support for teachers: professional development.
August 9-13, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
We continue ICER’s longstanding commitment to fostering discussion and exploring new research areas by offering several ways to contribute. New for 2015, ICER features an increased page length for research papers of 8 pages for body content, plus up to 2 additional pages for references. We have also expanded submission types to include a new research poster track.
13 April, 2015 – Research paper abstract submission (mandatory)
20 April, 2015 – Research paper full copy, blind submission
20 April, 2015 – Co-located workshop proposals
20 May, 2015 – Doctoral consortium submissions due
1 June, 2015 – Notification to research paper authors
15 June, 2015 – Lighting talk & poster abstracts
15 June, 2015 – Work in progress workshop application deadline
Brian Dorn, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA – firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Sheard, Monash University, Australia – email@example.com
Quintin Cutts, University of Glasgow, UK – firstname.lastname@example.org
The new NSF STEM-C solicitation is out: See http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15537/nsf15537.htm.
The introduction to the new solicitation is visionary and speaks of the power of computing in STEM and for all students. Here’s just the first paragraph:
The STEM + Computing (STEM+C) Partnerships program seeks to advance a 21st century conceptualization of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that includes computing. The “+ Computing” notation emphasizes that computing is integral to the practice of all the other STEM disciplines. In this solicitation, computing refers to the whole set of fundamental concepts and skills that will allow students to creatively apply and adapt computation across a range of application domains, to “bend digital technology to one’s needs, purposes, and will.”
The focus of this solicitation is primarily on integration of computing with other STEM education disciplines, and secondarily, on computing education in K-12 (including teachers). The prioritization is pretty clear from the budget limits:
The maximum total budget for Track 1: Integration of Computing in STEM Education awards is $2.5 million for Design and Development awards, $1.25 million for Exploratory Integration awards, and $250,000 for Field-Building Conferences and Workshops. The maximum total budget for Track 2: Computing Education Knowledge and Capacity Building awards is $600,000 for Research on Education and Broadening Participation awards and $1.0 million for CS 10K awards.
You can get up to $1.25M USD to explore integration of computing in STEM ($2.5M to design and develop), but at most $1M to put computing into schools and at most $600K to do research on computing education and broadening participation. We might argue about the ratios, but in the end, both tracks and all the types of proposals have enough funding to do important work that needs to happen.
A nice piece updating what we know about MOOCs, who’s taking them, and what they’re good for. I have decided to offer my first MOOC, as part of an HCI specialization with Coursera. (See the announcement here.) This fits in exactly with what I think a MOOC is good for — it’s professional development for people with background in the field. If students going to learn about HCI, I’d also like them to learn about making technologies for learning and about how people learn. I agreed to do a short four week MOOC on designing learning technologies, development to occur this summer. This isn’t about my research exactly (though, because it’s me, a lot of the examples will probably come from computing education). It’s not about reaching an under-served population, or teaching CS-novices or teachers. Different purpose, different objectives — and objectives for this course and for the GT HCI specialization match for what a MOOC is good for.
The companies that rode to fame on the MOOC wave had visions and still do of offering unfettered elite education to the masses and driving down college tuition. But the sweet spot for MOOCs is far less inspirational and compelling. The courses have become an important supplement to classroom learning and a tool for professional development.