Paul Denny, Brett Becker, Michelle Craig, Piotr Banaszkiewicz, and I were very pleased to receive notice last week that ICER 2019 has accepted our paper exploring the questions people would most like computing education researchers to answer. To recap:
- We asked one group of people what questions they would most like answered, then
- grouped and collated those questions, and
- asked a larger group of people how important or unimportant they thought those questions were.
We also asked respondents about their backgrounds and whether they teach and/or do research. The most surprising finding was how little overlap there was between the interests of people who do research and the interests of people who don’t:
|Most Interesting to Researchers||Most Interesting to Non-Researchers|
|1.||What fundamental programming concepts are the most challenging for students?||How and when is it best to give students feedback on their code to improve learning?|
|2.||What teaching strategies are most effective when dealing with a wide range of prior experience in introductory programming classes?||What kinds of programming exercises are most effective when teaching students Computer Science?|
|3.||What affects students' ability to generalize from simple programming examples?||What are the relative merits of project-based learning, lecturing, and active learning for students learning computing?|
|4.||What teaching practices are most effective for teaching computing to children?||What is the most effective way to provide feedback to students in programming classes?|
|5.||What kinds of problems do students in programming classes find most engaging?||What do people find most difficult when breaking problems down into smaller tasks while programming?|
|6.||What are the most effective ways to teach programming to various groups?||What are the key concepts that students need to understand in introductory computing classes?|
|7.||What are the most effective ways to scale computing education to reach the general student population?||What are the most effective ways to develop computing competency among students in non-computing disciplines?|
|8.||What is the best order in which to teach basic computing concepts and skills?|
(The imbalance in numbers is an artefact of how we did the analysis.) We will post a preprint as soon as we’ve addressed the reviewers’ comments; if you are coming to Toronto for the conference, please give me a shout—I’d be happy to show you around my adopted home town.