Home » Papers » Papers

May 2017
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Papers

§ Week 1

To next week

  • Growing a K-12 Community of Practice
    • Key words: Alice, K-12 education, middle school, high school, introductory computer science
    • Main idea: Professors from several prominent universities reflect on K-12 education of CS based upon the Alice workshops for middle and high school teachers. Most attendees are new to CS, and with varying academic backgrounds. The Alice community of practice aims at integrating computing to middle and high schools (in NC, SC and CA) by providing the teachers with fundamental knowledge of programming in the Alice environment through summer workshops. Alice language is novice-friendly and story-based, and therefore suitable for teachers of K-12 education. The workshops conclude with teachers’ self-developed and peer-revised lesson plans, but the universities continue to provide support during the academic year. The most effective means of communication are listservs and e-mail lists, especially the former for quick Q&A. There are many lessons learned through the decade. For example, the willingness of attendees to travel demonstrates dedication, and having them live together creates a bonding opportunity and better experience. Anecdotally proven successful at college-level, Alice could effect change in K-12 CS education.
    • Citation: Stephen, Cooper, et al. “Growing a K-12 Community of Practice.” Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2015, pp. 290-295. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2676723.2677255. Accessed 23 May 2017.
  • Weaving Computing into all Middle School Disciplines
    • Key words: Alice, virtual worlds, K-12 education, middle school, intro CS
    • Main idea: Students are not exposed to computational thinking training despite extensive use of computer softwares. Alice is one programming language directed to integrate CS into K-12 education. Duke’s summer workshops are targeted at middle/high school teachers in different disciplines from an introductory level. Topical tutorials are created based on different computer scientific or visual animation concepts with additional helper objects, so as to enhance novice-friendliness. Tutorials are complemented by “challenges” where learners complete missing pieces of a mostly built puzzle, i.e. Alice worlds such as Wizard World and Boat Racing, provided with clues. Alice is applicable in humanities and arts classes as well, as attendees come up with lesson plans according to their primary teaching subject. In summary, Duke’s annual summer Alice workshops provide teachers with the fundamental skills of a user-friendly programming language to facilitate their teaching, whichever subject it may be.
    • Citation: Rodger, Susan H., et al. “Weaving computing into all middle school disciplines.” Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Innovation & technology in computer science education (ITiCSE ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2014, pp. 207-212. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2591708.2591754. Accessed 23 May 2017.
  • Requirements and Design Strategies for Open Source Interactive Computer Science eBooks
    • Key words: Algorithm visualization, interactive eBook, hypertext, automated assessment, digital education
    • Main idea: This report examines the status quo of interactive computer science electronic books, or, icseBooks, and its implications for CS pedagogy. Rapidly rising popularity of MOOCs and the like demands educators’ attention to a learning model involving visualization, multimedia, and automated assessment. Noticeably, these features distinguish icseBooks from regular eBooks, with openDSA project and Runestone Interactive Python project as prototypes. The report thereafter determines the requirements for creating and sustaining such icseBooks by identifying the potential audience, the instructor, the developer and objective evaluation standards, in four sections respectively. The report concludes with a network of various support mechanisms to help meet these requirements—the goal is, after all, to develop quality icseBooks whose value exceeds the sum of their individual parts.
    • Citation: Korhonen, Ari, et al. “Requirements and Design Strategies for Open Source Interactive Computer Science eBooks.” ITiCSE 2013 Working Group Report from The 18th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, Canterbury, England, 2013, pp. 53-72. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2543882.2543886. Accessed 23 May 2017.
  • Integrating Computing into Middle Schools Disciplines Through Projects
    • Key words: Alice, virtual worlds, K-12 education, middle school, introductory computer science
    • Main idea:  This paper reports the observations of integrating CS into middle school through various projects. There are many ways to utilize Alice in middle/high schools. For example, modeling is useful for life sciences, mathematics and statistics. History and foreign language could benefit from the story-telling nature of Alice. Teachers have varying interests for incorporating Alice into their curriculum; the need for Alice is in general in line with the frequency of use of multimedia and technology in class. Feedbacks from teachers inspire the authors to make projects-oriented workshops, and in turn serve the teachers in the academic year.
    • Citation: Rodger, Susan, et al. “Integrating Computing into Middle Schools Disciplines Through Projects.” Forty-third SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Raleigh, NC, 2012, pp. 421-426. Accessed 23 May 2017.
  • A Pre-College Professional Development Program
    • Key words: Alice, pre-college, professional development
    • Main idea: This report describes the results of a four-year initiative by several universities to reach middle/high school teachers with Alice and thereby reach students who would not be sufficiently interested to take intro CS in college. The paper focuses specifically on professional development of the school teachers. Challenge emerged already at teacher recruitment. Logistical specifics of the summer training program as well as the academic year support also varied significantly due to specific circumstances of different schools. There are quite a few lessons learned regarding the audience, such as failure to recognize the difference between background knowledge of middle and high school teachers. The evaluation also summarizes how computing would fit in the two groups respectively. For middle school, the goal is to integrate CS into all disciplines, parallel to electronic presentations or paper posters. Current high school curriculum generally teaches about office productivity applications; Alice could serve as a friendly lead into programming. So far, the workshops have proven successful with positive sequel; they will hence be continued and improved constantly.
    • Citation: Cooper, Stephen, et al. “A Pre-College Professional Development Program.” The 16th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2011), Darmstadt, Germany, 2011, pp. 188-192. Accessed 24 May 2017.
  • How to Implement Rigorous Computer Science Education in K-12 Schools? Some Answers and Many Questions
    • Key words: Schools, curricula, CS education, K-12 education, research questions, Darmstadt Model
    • Main idea: This paper investigates the application of Darmstadt Model in India, Korea, Germany, Finland and US. The article goes on to reflect on research questions following the model, concerning 13 aspects including educational systems, policies, motivation, etc. The authors express hopes to establish connections between CS education and PISA assessment, and propose that special social and cultural circumstances need to be taken into consideration for CS education.
    • Citation: Hubwieser, Peter, et al. “How to Implement Rigorous Computer Science Education in K-12 Schools? Some Answers and Many Questions.” ACM Trans. Comput. Educ. 15, 2, Article 5 (April 2015), 12 pages. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2729983. Accessed 24 May 2017.
  • CS Unplugged and Middle-School Students’ Views, Attitudes, and Intentions Regarding CS
    • Key words: Computer science unplugged, attitudes, views, K-12 instruction
    • Main idea: CS Unplugged was created to ease students into CS. In this paper, the researchers examine how the introduction of CS Unplugged in middle school interests students in studying CS further in high school. There is an informative table on page 22, which evaluates how closely various CS Unplugged activities are connected to CS. For example, Harold the robot activity is highly linked to CS, as the instructions to a robot and its behaviors are important topics in CS. CS Unplugged has several advantages, such as encouraging group work and proactive learning. The paper concludes with the discovery that CS Unplugged is a starting point for students to change their presumptions of CS, as they realize the necessity of mathematical thinking in CS.
    • Citation: Taub, Rivka, et al. “CS Unplugged and Middle-School Students’ Views, Attitudes, and Intentions Regarding CS.” ACM Trans. Comput. Educ. 12, 2, Article 8 (April 2012), 29 pages. DOI: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2160547.2160551. Accessed 24 May 2017.
  • Teaching with Scratch in Compulsory Secondary Education
    • Key words: Didactic unit, compulsory secondary education, ICT, rubric, Scratch
    • Main idea: This paper investigates how the introduction of Scratch impacts students’ grades in Spain. The results are positive. Scratch follows the logic of everyday language and builds like lego blocks, which triggers interest. The investigation is based on case study and concludes that Scratch helps students learn and with more joy.
    • Citation:  Ortiz-Colón, Ana María and José Luis Maroto Romo. “Teaching with Scratch in Compulsory Secondary Education.” International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning. 2016, Vol. 11 Issue 2, pp. 67-70. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3991/ijet.v11i02.5094. Accessed 24 May 2017.
  • Comparing Alice, Greenfoot & Scratch
    • Key words: ILE, Alice, Greenfoot, Scratch
    • Main idea: The authors recognize Alice, Greenfoot and Scratch as three programming languages of a similar nature—capturing the interest of school kids without CS experience through visualization. The three tools are termed Initial Learning Environments, or ILE. Alice presents a drag-and-drop platform to reduce learners’ struggle with syntax; source code and teaching materials of Alice are abundantly available online. Greenfoot is based on Java, and is great for the more ambitious, who wish to develop games themselves. Scratch cuts in from a slightly different angle, as it hopes to form a community for underserved students and provides rich media resources.
    • Citation: Fincher, Sally, et al. “Comparing Alice, Greenfoot & Scratch.” In Proceedings of the 41st ACM technical symposium on Computer science education (SIGCSE ’10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2010, pp. 192-193. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1734263.1734327. Accessed 24 May 2017.
  • Scalable Game Design: A Strategy to Bring Systemic Computer Science Education to Schools through Game Design and Simulation Creation
      • Key words: STEM, game design, programming, Latent Semantic Analyses, elementary schools, middle schools
      • Main idea: Due to the lack of a systematic model for pre-university CS education in the US, the authors take the initiative of developing one such model. Scalable Game Design, or SGD, is a curriculum that introduces computational thinking to middle school students. The authors propose adding an SGD unit to the currently existing CS classes of some sort, at the middle school level. SGD differs from traditional approaches of teaching programming in hope of training computational and creative thinking.The authors go on to describe the systematic strategy of CS education through SGD. They argue that the point of 21st century CS education is to train students to interpret the problem in such a way that the strength of a computer could be utilized. The authors uphold a project-first approach to interest students. Through a well-designed sequence of game design trainings, students improve their computational thinking patterns.
      • Citation: Repenning, Alexander, et al. “Scalable Game Design: A Strategy to Bring Systemic Computer Science Education to Schools through Game Design and Simulation Creation.” Trans. Comput. Educ. 15, 2, Article 11 (April 2015), 31 pages. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2700517. Accessed 24 May 2017.
  • Factors Influencing Computer Science Learning in Middle School
    • Key words: Middle school, Deeper Learning, learning factors, K-12 CS education, computational thinking
    • Main idea: This paper discusses results from a 7-week-long course on algorithmic and computational thinking for middle school students. The research discovered that the curriculum was palpably effective, and that the reception of various CS concepts depended on factors such as English ability, math ability, and extracurricular computing experience.
    • Citation: Grover, Shuchi, et al. “Factors Influencing Computer Science Learning in Middle School.” In Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education (SIGCSE ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2016, pp. 552-557. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2839509.2844564. Accessed 26 May 2017.
  • Initial Results of Using an Intelligent Tutoring System with Alice
    • Key words: Intelligent tutoring system, Alice, tutorial
    • Main idea: The researchers introduced Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) to reduce or even eliminate the effect of poor human instruction, and also improve efficiency as teachers could focus on helping students who need extra help, and allow most students learn without much intervention. ITS is especially useful in tracking student progress and detecting their struggle, and thereby offer more relevant exercise. Tutorials are designed topically. The authors pay tribute to John Sweller for the inspiration of having students make and understand mistakes. The experiment involving undergrads revealed that the tutorials instructions were highly/mostly clear, and that it took most time to get used to ease in to the world. Future work is focused on further improving ITS’s clarity and on pinning down the specific concepts that students struggle with.
    • Citation: Cooper, Stephen, et al. “Initial Results of Using an Intelligent Tutoring System with Alice.” In Proceedings of the 17th ACM annual conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education (ITiCSE ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2012 pp. 138-143. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2325296.2325332. Accessed 26 May 2017.
  • Spatial Skills Training in Introductory Computing
    • Key words: Introductory computer science, spatial skills, training
    • Main idea: Spatial imagining ability is essential for STEM disciplines, including researches that show a correlation between code comprehension ability and spatial skills. The experiment described in this paper is a pair of workshops (one of which has a focus on spatial skills) for under-represented groups in these disciplines and aims at improving the partipants’ programming skills through trainings in their spatial skills. Despite the small sample size and various potential swaying factors, it remains a very real prospect that improving spatial skills could improve programming ability.
    • Citation: Cooper, Stephen, et al. “Spatial Skills Training in Introductory Computing.” Proceedings of the eleventh annual International Conference on International Computing Education Research (ICER ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2015, pp. 13-20. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2787622.2787728. Accessed 26 May 2017.

Back to top

§ Week 2

  • The State Of Play: A Notional Machine for Learning Programming
    • Key words: Program visualization, novice programming, Novis
    • Main idea: The authors present in this paper a notional machine along with its visualizer named Novis, both of which aim at assisting novices with understanding real machines from a forest-level conceptual view. The paper specifically demonstrates how the notional machine would present abstract (and I think, relational) CS concepts such as instantiation of class, attributes of objects, etc. The paper then introduces Novis as an auxiliary tool from the visual aspect of the concepts, similar to a mindmap.
    • Citation: Berry, Michael, and Michael Kölling. “The State Of Play: A Notional Machine for Learning Programming.” In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Innovation & technology in computer science education (ITiCSE ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2014, pp. 21-26. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2591708.2591721. Accessed 31 May 2017.
  • Effect of a 2-week Scratch Intervention in CS1 on Learners with Varying Prior Knowledge
    • Key words: CS1, scratch intervention, novice learners, advance learners
    • Main idea: The goal of this research is to see whether a two week use of Scratch would help ease novice students into CS while keeping advanced students engaged in a large an introductory CS class. Analysis shows that novices were able to catch up with advanced students in certain aspects (transitioning to  C++), such as predicting the output, but not in areas like debugging possibly due to lack of practice with syntax. Survey shows that majority of students believe Scratch to be helpful for advancement into C++— more than half of the advanced students reported positive experience with Scratch. These investigation results could be widely applied to a various level of students, such as college students with limited prior CS experience.
    • Citation: Shitanshu Mishra et al. “Effect of a 2-week Scratch Intervention in CS1 on Learners with Varying Prior Knowledge.” In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Innovation & technology in computer science education (ITiCSE ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2014, pp. 45-50. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2591708.2591733. Accessed 31 May 2017.
  • Assessing Computational Learning in K-12
    • Key words: Computational thinking, computer science education, computing education, assessment, K-12 curriculum development
    • Main idea: The authors believe that proper assessment measures of students’ computational learning is an integral part of teaching computational skills. Foundational computational thinking skills include abstract concepts like algorithms and loops. Better assessments of students’ understanding in Alice-based programs are in dire need. One very interesting finding from the authors’ FACT workshop and curriculum research is that students in US and in Israel—origin of the test questions—struggle (or excel) in rather similar aspects, and so it seems most reasonable to associate the age of the students with these learning patterns. Along the same line, the authors believe that global effort should be put together since the goal is common across borders. Another discovery is that learning is cumulative so the assessment measures should be varied and flexible. 
    • Citation: Grover, Shuchi, et al. Assessing computational learning in K-12. In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Innovation & technology in computer science education (ITiCSE ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2014, pp. 57-62. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2591708.2591713. Accessed 1 June 2017.

Back to top

§ Week 3

  • Engaging High School Students Using Chatbots
    • Key words: Computer science K-12 outreach, chatbot, experimental evaluation, engagement, gender
    • Main idea: In Argentinian schools, teachers find that engaging, interactive tools for teaching K-12 CS such as Chatbot and Alice are especially attractive to female students. 
    • Citation: Benotti, Luciana et al. “Engaging High School Students Using Chatbots.” In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Innovation & technology in computer science education (ITiCSE ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2014, pp. 63-68. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2591708.2591728. Accessed 6 June 2017.
  • Serious Toys: Three Years of Teaching Computer Science Concepts in K-12 Classrooms
    • Key words: Binary numbers, networks, protocols, algorithms, sensor networks, outreach, K-12 curriculum, experimental evaluation
    • Main idea: The paper starts by drawing a parallel relation between reading comprehension and computational thinking skills. The authors state how third grade is a watershed for reading ability, as students are transitioning from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”, and propose, by the same logic, that there is such a pivotal year for CT ability. Therefore, the researchers wish to teach computing as early as possible in the K-12 curriculum. Some “serious toys” are introduced to engage visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. The pilot program has several modules, including Binary Number System Module, Networks, Protocols, and Algorithm Module, and Sensors and Sensor Networks Module. These modules could be used independently or as a nice combo. These embedded computing manipulatives show positive results in student engagement and improvement.
    • Citation: Feaster, Yvon et al. “Serious Toys: Three Years of Teaching Computer Science Concepts in K-12 Classrooms.” In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Innovation & technology in computer science education (ITiCSE ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2014, pp. 69-74. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2591708.2591732. Accessed 9 June 2017.
  • Mediated Transfer: Alice 3 to Java 
    • Key words: Alice, Java, Mediated transfer
    • Main idea: Researchers integrate Alice to the introductory CS course so that the interactive animations in Alice could help prepare students for programming in Java. When professors teach the same example in Alice and Java, the former works as an even better mediator.
    • Citation: Dann, Wanda, et al. “Mediated transfer: Alice 3 to Java.” In Proceedings of the 43rd ACM technical symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2012, pp. 141-146. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2157136.2157180. Accessed 9 June 2017.

Back to top

§ Week 9

  • Taking Advantage of Scale by Analyzing Frequent Constructed-Response, Code Tracing Wrong Answers 
    • Key words: Constructed-response questions, introductory computer science, education, massive courses, formative assessments, student errors, code-tracing questions
    • Main idea: This paper investigates question design for exams, evaluauting specifically several types of questions. Student-constructed answers are more reflective of their individual struggle with the material than, say, multiple-choice questions. Analysis further revealed that wrong answers often share a pattern of similar misconceptions as well as careless slips. Even a small sample could reveal the pattern of mistakes; frequently occurring mistakes are often taggable for analysis. 
    • Citation: Stephens-Martinez, Kristin, et al. “Taking Advantage of Scale by Analyzing Frequent Constructed-Response, Code Tracing Wrong Answers.” Forthcoming 2017. Accessed 21 July 2017.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *