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Working Groups

Working groups are formed by participants with a common interest in a topic related to the subject matter of the conference. The groups of 5 to about 10 participants (including WG leaders) work together virtually for an intense collaboration up until the three-day intense collaboration session and the conference as follows:

  • Virtual Intense collaboration work:
    • Operational mode is virtual for all, from April 13th until July 7th
  • Three-day intense collaboration session:
    • Operational mode is specified per WG (see below), from July 8th to July 10th
  • Submitting the Draft
    • July 10th

Every working group member must register for the conference in order to be considered a contributor to the final report. Participants present their results to conference attendees at a special working group presentation session during the conference. Final reports are refereed and, if accepted, are published in the ACM Digital Library.

The proposed working groups:

  1. Professional Accreditation and Competency-Based Computing Education
  2. Making Visible and Modeling the Underrepresented: Teachers’ Reflections on Their Role Modeling in Higher Education
  3. Models for computer science teacher preparation: Lessons from the globe
  4. Steps learners take when solving programming tasks, and how learning environments (should) respond to them
  5. What we talk about when we talk about programs
  6. The Impact of COVID on the Student Learning Experience: How COVID has Shaped the Educational Landscape in which Students Find Themselves
  7. A Multi-institutional Multi-national Study of the Effectiveness of Parsons Problems
  8. Embedding Vendor Certifications in the Cloud ComputingCurriculum: Scope, Strategy and Perceptions
  9. Stop Reinventing the Wheel! Leveraging Community Software in CS Education

 

Applying to join a working group

Interested researchers may apply for working group membership up to the deadline: ​March 30th​. This year there will be a virtual open evening for prospective members to find out more information (if required) about each working group. This event will take place on:

Date: Thursday the 24th February 2022

Time: 21:00 to 22:30 Irish Time

Microsoft Teams Link for the 24th February (you can test this anytime):

Click here for meeting link

In addition, recordings of each of the WG’s open evening presentations will be made available on this page shortly after the open evening.

Working group membership decisions are generally made shortly after the deadline (March 30th​). If some working groups have too many applications and others are still lacking members, the working group chairs will try to facilitate moves between working groups, respecting the applicant’s and the working group leaders’ wishes (there is an optional section in the below form to select a second and third preference which may aid this process).

Applications must now be submitted only to the following form (this is different from previous years) on or before March 30th​:

Working Group application form : https://forms.office.com/r/Tc8FZD8AUr

WG 1: Professional Accreditation and Competency-Based Computing Education

Presentation Video: Click here for video

WG Leaders and mode of operation details:

Rajendra K. Raj (rkr@cs.rit.edu)

John Impagliazzo (john.impagliazzo@hofstra.edu)

  • Preferred operation for the three-day intense collaboration session: Hybrid
  • Note: Both WG leaders intend to be at ITiCSE in-person.

Abstract:

Formalised accreditation in medical or religious professions has existed since the 1800s. Business and engineering began accrediting programs in the early twentieth century. In computing, professional accreditation started only toward the last decades of the twentieth century after computer science, informatics, and information systems programs had become widespread. In 2008, accrediting bodies in eight countries signed the Seoul Accord to set up mutual recognition of professional computing and information technology academic degrees. On another front, although competency-based learning has been a successful pedagogical approach for centuries, its growth in computing is relatively new, resulting from recent curricular reports, such as Computing Curricula 2020. As defined in these reports, competency is an amalgamation of knowledge, skills, and dispositions and is still nascent in computing accreditation. This working group plans to study the bases for professional accreditation in computing, both by the Seoul Accord signatories and other accreditation bodies across the world. Also explored will be aspects of these accreditation criteria that support competency-based computing education and what else might be needed to incorporate competencies fully. To this end, the group will examine results from recent publications in competency-based education. The working group report will result in a better understanding of professional accreditation and competency-based learning across the world, thus having immediate practical benefits for computing education. 

WG 2: Making Visible and Modeling the Underrepresented: Teachers’ Reflections on Their Role Modeling in Higher Education

Presentation Video: Click here for video

WG Leaders and mode of operation details:

Virginia Grande (virginia.grande@it.uu.se)

Päivi Kinnunen (paivi.kinnunen@helsinki.fi)

Anne-Kathrin Peters (akpeters@kth.se)

  • Preferred operation for the three-day intense collaboration session: Hybrid
  • Note: All three WG leaders intend to be at ITiCSE in-person.

Abstract:

This work aims to broaden participation in computing for under-represented groups, and create more diverse disciplinary and professional identities in computing. We will research how computing teachers in higher education reflect on what about themselves they would like their students to (not) emulate, i.e. how the teacher can be a role model. Role models are individuals that others observe to achieve a goal. Role models are particularly beneficial for students from underrepresented groups, and more generally, they can model new ways of engaging in computing. Teachers in computing become potential role models for their students, as representatives of professional identities and participation in computing. We are interested in teachers’ reflections on how they may, and want to, be perceived and recognized by their students as competent computer scientists, particularly in terms of professional competencies and emotions, and how this connects to identity. If there is interest among the working group applicants, mental health could also be explored in this context.  After data collection in an international survey, teams will analyze the data using a framework for role modelling as a general approach and focusing on emotions and professional competencies as more focused approaches. Identity theory will be used to frame the overall work. An outcome of this WG work is a better understanding of role modelling in computing, especially computer science teachers’ perceptions of themselves as role models. The results can further be used to support various ways of developing CS teachers’ teaching competencies and departments’ teaching culture.

WG 3: Models for computer science teacher preparation: Lessons from the globe

Presentation Video: Click here for video.

Passcode : P#5FkC2Z

WG Leaders and mode of operation details:

Aman Yadav (ayadav@msu.edu)

Cornelia Connoly (cornelia.connolly@nuigalway.ie)

Marc Berges (marc.berges@fau.de)

  • Preferred operation for the three-day intense collaboration session: Hybrid
  • Note: All three WG leaders intend to be at ITiCSE in-person.

Abstract:

Across the globe, Computer Science Education has grown tremendously over the past decade to introduce primary and secondary students to computing ideas and tools. From integrating computational thinking in disciplines to teaching computer science as a  stand alone subject, models for teacher preparation use one and done professional learning workshops to full certificate and licensure programs. The group will focus on providing a landscape of  how CS teachers are prepared academically in various countries and develop a model for how teachers should be supported to develop knowledge and skill to teach computer science. The working group will also discuss how to develop these knowledge systems in a way that leads to teaching computer science that is equitable and centers students in the classroom. In addition, the working group will focus on new directions for computing education (such as, artificial intelligence and machine learning) and its implications for teacher preparation. We will bring together a group of international computer science education scholars that have been engaged in teacher preparation virtually before and after ITiCSE. In addition to what knowledge teachers need to teach CS, we will also focus on how the field is preparing teachers to think critically about AI/ML and the role of computer science in the design of technology tools and their harmful potential in our society.

WG 4: Steps learners take when solving programming tasks, and how learning environments (should) respond to them

Presentation Video: Click here for video

WG Leaders and mode of operation details:

Johan Jeuring (J.T.Jeuring@uu.nl)

Hieke Keuning (h.w.keuning@uu.nl)

Samiha Marwan (samarwan@ncsu.edu)

  • Preferred operation for the three-day intense collaboration session: Hybrid
  • Note: Two of the three WG leaders intend to be at ITiCSE in-person.

Abstract:

Every year, millions of learners learn how to program. Learning activities for beginners almost always include programming tasks, which require a student to write a program to solve a particular problem. As with any complex task, a student needs feedback when learning. In the case of programming, the feedback should amongst others be about the steps a student has taken towards implementing a solution. A limited number of learning environments for programming give feedback and hints on intermediate steps students take towards a solution. To determine the quality of feedback of such tools, and to help further developing them, we want to create and curate data sets that show what kind of steps students take when solving beginners programming exercises. A number of such data sets are available. The proposed working group has six goals: 

  • to determine the desired characteristics of the data sets we want to use in our research;
  • to collect existing data sets, or set up experiments in which such data sets can be obtained. We will use, and if necessary extend, the ProgSnap2 format to describe our data sets;
  • to determine a coding for characterising the steps a student takes; 
  • to design a method to assign expert feedback and hints for the coded steps; 
  • apply the coding to a number of data sets, and determine the expert feedback and hints for the data set;
  • use the data sets to evaluate learning environments for programming by comparing their feedback and hints with expert feedback and hints.

WG 5: What we talk about when we talk about programs

Presentation Video: Click here for video

WG Leaders and mode of operation details:

Violetta Lonati (lonati@di.unimi.it)

Andrej Brodnik (andrej.brodnik@upr.si)

  • Preferred operation for the three-day intense collaboration session: Hybrid
  • Note: Both of the WG leaders intend to be at ITiCSE in-person.

Abstract:

Programming plays a paramount role in many educational policies and initiatives. However, the current focus on coding skills poses a risk of giving pupils an over simplistic and impoverished idea of what programming means and involves. Their experiences would be much more significant if learning were aimed at understanding the richness of the nature of programs.  In fact, programs are strange creatures that escape simple definitions. They are real, in that they aspect our real lives; they are abstract, in that they process abstract entities; and they are concrete, in that they take up space in digital devices memory, and can be copied, transferred, corrupted. Thus, understanding the multifaceted nature of programs is crucial knowledge for all citizens of the digital era, and a fundamental component of such an understanding is getting a sense of how programs are created and work (i.e., the programming process). To the best of our knowledge, there is no Nature of Programs framework (e.g., a set of statements that describe what the nature of programs is), that teachers and policy makers can use to shape their practice and targets. The goal of the WG is developing such a framework, by collecting and organizing contributions from CER, CS experts, and educators. Work plan: 

  • analysis of literature (including textbooks); 
  • identification of the fundamental tenets of the Nature of Programs; 
  • collection of feedback from the CSE community through surveys or other appropriate research instruments; 
  • revision according to feedback.

WG 6: The Impact of COVID on the Student Learning Experience: How COVID has Shaped the Educational Landscape in which Students Find Themselves

Presentation Video: Click here for video

WG Leaders and mode of operation details:

Angela Siegel (siegel@dal.ca)

Mark Zarb (m.zarb@rgu.ac.uk)

  • Preferred operation for the three-day intense collaboration session: Virtual
  • Note: Both of the WG leaders do not intend to be at ITiCSE in-person.

Abstract:

Students have experienced incredible shifts in the in their learning environments, brought about by the response of universities to the ever-changing public health mandates driven by waves and stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, these shifts in learning (mode of course delivery, course availability, etc.) were considered emergency responses. However, as the pandemic presses on, students have had to repeatedly adapt to the continuously evolving educational landscape as the pandemic forced an “unprecedented global shift within higher education in the ways that we communicate with and educate students”. This working group builds upon foundations and structure created in 2021 in an ITiCSE Working Group exploring the effects of COVID-19 on teaching and learning from a faculty perspective, which identified the incorporation of some pandemic-induced changes into future teaching practices. In this working group, we explore existing literature regarding the student experience in response to the evolving teaching practices catalyzed by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Traditionally, computing is a subject full of experiential learning opportunities, rich with in-person labs and exercises. We explore how the changes within the COVID-affected academic landscape have altered that student experience. The current group of computing students will have had experiences under both typical (i.e. pre-pandemic) and COVID-affected teaching practices. It is, therefore, timely that we understand how each has impacted how they perceive their learning environment and educational experience. In turn, this will help computing faculty improve their practices going forward by identifying those practices that have most benefited the student learning experience.

WG 7: A Multi-institutional Multi-national Study of the Effectiveness of Parsons Problems

Presentation Video: Click here for video

WG Leaders and mode of operation details:

Barbara Ericson (barbarer@umich.edu)

Paul Denny (p.denny@auckland.ac.nz)

James Prather (jrp09a@acu.edu)

  • Preferred operation for the three-day intense collaboration session: Hybrid
  • Note: All three of the WG leaders intend to be at ITiCSE in-person.

Abstract:

Programming is a complex task that requires the development of many skills ranging from knowledge of syntax to problem solving. Code-writing activities are commonly used to help students develop these skills, but the difficulty of writing code from a blank page can overwhelm many novices. Parsons problems offer a simpler alternative to writing code by providing scrambled code blocks that must be placed in order to solve a problem. The extensive literature on Parsons problems documents numerous benefits to using them as both formative and summative assessments. These include more efficient learning, the possibility to dynamically adapt to learner needs, and more reliable grading. Despite these positive findings,  there is a need for further research in order to draw broader inferences. Most work has been conducted at single institutions under unique conditions that are not easily replicated, and some prior studies have been inconclusive or had limitations that affected data validity. To address this, we propose a multi-institutional multinational study that will facilitate a large-scale investigation of the effectiveness of Parsons problems for novice programmers. We will focus on introductory programming courses (CS0/1/2) that use Java, Python, and C/C++ as these are the most common teaching languages. The working group will collaborate to refine the scope, methodology and research questions, and contribute to data collection and analysis. 

WG 8: Embedding Vendor Certifications in the Cloud Computing Curriculum: Scope, Strategy and Perceptions

Presentation Video: Click here for video

WG Leaders and mode of operation details:

Jim Paterson (James.Paterson@gcu.ac.uk)

Joshua Adams (joshua.adams03@saintleo.edu)

Derek Foster (defoster@lincoln.ac.uk)

  • Preferred operation for the three-day intense collaboration session: Hybrid
  • Note: All three of the WG leaders intend to be at ITiCSE in-person.

Abstract:

The integration of industry-standard certifications into IT-related curricula in formal education is not new. However, the growth of cloud computing and its reach within many areas of computing means that certifications are more important than ever. It is timely, therefore, to review current practice, investigate their perceived impact on learners and their employment prospects, and provide guidance on best practice. A series of previous Working Groups has focused on aspects of inclusion of cloud computing within curricula, by mapping out a  comprehensive set of knowledge areas and learning objectives, developing exemplar syllabi and investigating ways of disseminating and validating the outcomes. It was clear from this work that vendor certifications can be an important driver in the design of courses which aim to provide their graduates with industry-relevant skills. This year we propose to focus on certifications within formal education in cloud computing, and to investigate and report on: 

  • the scope of currently available vendor certifications, related to our cloud knowledge areas
  • current approaches to integrating certifications within an academic curriculum, and practical issues associated with these 
  • perceptions of students before and after graduation/employment
  • perceptions of employers
  • recommendations/guidance for best practice

Data gathering and initial analysis will take place during the period before the conference, through review of vendors’ documentation, literature review, survey and interviews. It will be expected that participants will be able to contribute some data artefact, e.g.  from their students and/or industry contacts. During the intensive period analysis will be completed and the draft report will be completed.

WG 9: Stop Reinventing the Wheel! Leveraging Community Software in CS Education

Presentation Video: Click here for video

WG Leaders and mode of operation details:

Jeremiah Blanchard (jjb@eng.ufl.edu)

John R. Hott (jrhott@virginia.edu)

  • Preferred operation for the three-day intense collaboration session: Virtual
  • Note: Both of the WG leaders do not intend to be at ITiCSE in-person.

Abstract:

Historically, computing instructors and researchers have developed a wide variety of tools to support teaching and educational research, including exam and code testing suites and data collection solutions. Many are then community or individually maintained. However, these tools often find limited adoption beyond their creators. As a result, it is common for many of the same functionalities to be re-implemented by different instructional groups within the CS Education community. We hypothesize that this is due in part to accessibility, discoverability, and adaptability challenges, among others. Further, instructors often face institutional barriers to de- ployment, which can include hesitance of institutions to utilize community developed solutions that often lack a centralized authority. We propose the establishment of a working group to explore what solutions are currently available, what instructors need, and reasons behind this phenomenon. This will be accomplished via a literature review and drafting of a survey to identify the tools that have been developed by the community; the solutions that are currently available and in use by instructors; what features are needed moving forward for classroom and research use; what support for extensions is needed to support further CS Education research; and what institutional challenges instructors and researchers are currently facing or have faced in the past in deploying or otherwise using community development software solutions. Finally, the working group will seek to identify ways to integrate and improve the accessibility, discoverability, and dissemination of existing community projects, as well as manage and overcome institutional challenges.