Computer Science Education

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Content and process concepts relevant to computer science education: A cross-cultural study

Content and process concepts relevant to computer science education: A cross-cultural study

The methodological approach taken is important in efforts to consolidate curricular models of computer science education, as have been initiated by the Bologna process (European Ministers of Higher Education, 1999; 2005; 2006; Bologna Working Group on Qualifications Frameworks, 2005) in Europe (Mulder & van Weert, 2000; 2001) and by the organizations ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), AIS (Association for Information Systems), and IEEE-CS (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers—Computer Society) (ACM, 2004a; 2004b; 2005a; 2005b; Gorgone et al., 2002) in the United States. The approach chosen in this study provides a way of generalizing curricular models of computer science that is based on methods which are well established in cross-cultural research.
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Semantic categorization of content and process concepts relevant to computer science education

Semantic categorization of content and process concepts relevant to computer science education

The semantic categorization of individual process concepts is thus also more straightforward than is that of individual content concepts: In principle, only one discriminant factor is needed to categorize the process concepts, whereas both discriminant factors are required for the categorization of the content concepts. In future studies, the content concepts should be specified in more detail by reference to the process concepts identified as central to computer science education. Topic maps (Maicher, Sigel, & Garshol, 2007) – in which the relationships between content and process concepts are more closely defined in terms of equivalence, associative, and hierarchical relations – may inform this specification. Moreover, future research needs to address concrete questions of teaching practice. For example, experts can be consulted to determine which teaching methods and groupings of students are appropriate for teaching specific content and process concepts and in which grades of which school types these concepts play a role.
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Process-related competence areas to computer science education: An empirical determination

Process-related competence areas to computer science education: An empirical determination

Dimension #2. This dimension can be interpreted as educational accessibility and characterizes process concepts whether they build on other concepts, whether their introduction is linked to certain resources (hardware or software) or whether teaching presupposes a certain intellectual level. A process concept with easy educational accessibility, for example, is ordering. This concept can be introduced in computer science education without reference to other process concepts of computer science. Besides, it can be introduced without access to other resources and it can be taught on virtually any intellectual level. Examples of process concept with less easy educational accessibility are creating and inventing or transferring. Their introduction in computer science education depends on the prior introduction of other computer science concepts (such as questioning, comparing and classifying). Besides, some of them can only be dealt with if appropriate resources (software, hardware) are available. And these process concepts cannot easily be introduced on any intellectual level (Zendler & Spannagel, 2008).
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Computer science education teaching methods: An overview of the literature

Computer science education teaching methods: An overview of the literature

Computer science education teaching methods: An overview of the literature Articles from LOG IN magazine - Several articles in the computer science educational magazine LOG IN are interesting from methodological and practical teaching standpoints. LOG IN already raised awareness of the necessity of new methods in computer science education ten years ago (Seiffert & Koerber, 2003). Among the writings found in the LOG IN heading “Praxis & Methodik” (‘Practice & Methodology’) there are reports featuring the following teaching methods: direct instruction (Tiburski, 2010), inductive approaches (Müller, 2008), research-based learning and experiment (Müller, 2006a, 2006b, Müller, 2010; Schulz & Witten 2010), concept mapping (Ertl & Mok, 2010), discovery learning (Hromkovic, 2011), problem solving (Baumann 2007; Thiele, 2008), self-directed learning (Homberg, 2006), project teaching (Ambros, 1992; Müller 2011); simulation and modeling (Steinkamp, 2004; Bierschneider-Jakobs, 2005; Wiesner, 2008; Vollmer, 2011), and role play (Fothe, 2006; Tiburski, 2010; Baumann, 2010; Link, 2011). Attention should be drawn to another aspect in connection with LOG IN magazine; namely the context-orientation in computer science education, a concept for the planning and arrangement of computer science education oriented on the everyday experiences that school pupils inhabit (Diethelm, 2011; Dietz, & Oppermann, 2011; Diethelm, Koubek, & Witten, 2011).
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Making Computer Science Education Relevant

Making Computer Science Education Relevant

Computer science (CS) education at schools is supposed to “introduce the fundamental concepts of computer science” (CSTA, [1]) and foster computational thinking [2], which includes abstraction, modeling, problem solving and creating algorithms using formal language. In contrast to information technology (IT) education, computer science education is not just about using digital tools but about designing software [1]. Programming (the skill of writing a program to a given task) is considered as a new literacy [3] and an important part of general education, since it is creative, constructive and precise [4].
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Improving Introductory Computer Science Education with DRaCO

Improving Introductory Computer Science Education with DRaCO

In terms of didactics in early computer science education, the importance of analytic skills and algorithmic thinking often dwarfs any significance in the act of learning and memorizing the syntax of some programming language. Nevertheless, we continue to observe alarming insufficiency in the efforts to harness the students’ existing intuition to grow into maturely developed analytic skills and algorithmic thinking. The algorithmic problems presented to the students in introductory courses—such as the one illustrated above—are perfect opportunities for the students to apply their intuition on the ‘process of planning out stages of execution for the solution to a given problem’ (the fundamental definition of programming stated earlier). However, many educators fail to make this connection abundantly clear to their pupils as majority of the novice students still continue to perceive any problem given in a programming course as something that must be solved by typing code in some syntax of a programming language they are not yet familiar with.
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The Case for Improving U.S. Computer Science Education

The Case for Improving U.S. Computer Science Education

Since computer science became an academic discipline in the late 1960s, the level of interest in the field and the number of students taking courses has grown in fits and starts. Currently in an upswing, computer science education in the United States looks poised for steady growth. However, there is the possibility that interest in the field could again wane like it did in 2003 following the burst of the tech bubble. To maintain the field’s current momentum, the perception of computer science (CS) needs to shift from its being considered a fringe, elective offering or a skills-based course designed to teach basic computer literacy or coding alone. Instead, it is time for CS to be seen as a core science on par with more traditional high school offerings such as biology, chemistry and physics. Furthermore, universities should capitalize on the growing interest in computer science and expand their offerings to accommodate the growing demand for courses in the field. Not only is computer science a powerful educational tool for fostering critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity, computer skills and competencies are in high demand among employers in a wide range of industries, not just the tech industry. Policy and It is time for computer
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AN ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION *

AN ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION *

Not only are progressive teaching strategies associated with the future of computer science education, but also change for the introductory level computer science curriculum is envisioned. A movement toward the creation of many introductory level computer science courses and/or separation between theoretical and applied needs to take place to meet the needs and interests of students from a variety disciplines with a variety of scientific reasoning. Ideally, every discipline should have an introduction to computer science course tailored especially for those students majoring in the specific discipline. However, until the critical mass of professors from all the other disciplines become literate in computer programming, then the computer science department is going to have to take the lead in creating this mass of expertise. To emphasize the importance this movement has on the student's learning and career opportunities, more research needs to be conducted on how a student learns differently, what a student does in the future with his/her computer programming knowledge, and whether a student took the traditional introductory level computer science class, like CS101, versus an experimental computer science class tailored to the student's interest, such as CS195.
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.NET Gadgeteer: A New Platform for K-12 Computer Science Education

.NET Gadgeteer: A New Platform for K-12 Computer Science Education

The use of physical hardware in the context of K-12 computer science education has been explored previously through systems such as Logo-based turtles, Lego MindStorms and a variety of robot-based education products. These constructionist tools have engaged many students but are not yet established in support of the complete K-12 CS curriculum. The ScratchBoard/PicoBoard provides a tangible, hardware-based extension to Scratch which can be useful for younger students but is still quite limited both in terms of hardware flexibility and the programming experience. Modkit [5] extends the Scratch environment with a ‘code view’ and supports a wider variety of Arduino-based hardware but does not have the flexibility of Gadgeteer or the ability to create stand- alone electronic devices. The Sense system [7] similarly builds on Scratch and provides a modular tangible hardware experience through the SenseBoard, but is primarily aimed at adult learners. In this paper we describe the Gadgeteer system and explain the features which we feel make it suitable for teaching. We present two initial pilots where Gadgeteer was used to teach aspects of computer science to students aged 11-18 in schools in the UK and US. We give an overview of our methodology and report on classroom experiences. We end by presenting avenues for future work which our pilots have uncovered. Our aim is to inform others who are active in the field of high-school computer science education of the potential of Gadgeteer as part of a portfolio of tools which teachers can use to engage a diverse set of students.
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Pairlearning in Undergraduate Computer Science Education, CS1 class

Pairlearning in Undergraduate Computer Science Education, CS1 class

Priebe (Priebe 1997) also performed research on second-semester university computer science students. One group of students received the traditional lecture while the other group participated in cooperative learning for the same number of hours as the previous group. His three hypotheses follow: (1) the cooperative learning students would do better in concept comprehension than the control group; (2) cooperative learning students would have improved logical thinking skills than the control group students and (3) the cooperative learning students would have better class attendance rates. He used statistical methods to test his hypotheses. The results revealed no difference between the cooperative learning and control groups in concept comprehension or logical reasoning ability. However, the cooperative learning group did have significantly better attendance. Priebe also emphasized how team-oriented activities in the classroom modeled real-world teamwork in industry. He believes that the group setting fostered positive peer pressure that led to neater and more complete assignment submissions. He, too, commented on the higher level of self-teaching that occurred in the cooperative group setting.
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Integrating Computer Science Education in Kenyan Secondary Schools

Integrating Computer Science Education in Kenyan Secondary Schools

For many years science educators in Kenyan secondary schools hoped that the use of science apparatus supplied by Science Equipment Production unit (SEPU) would substantially help teachers to provide students with efficient and effective opportunities to learn science, products, and processes. But this has not improved students‟ performances in examinations. Research findings from developed countries have pointed out the capabilities of computers to improve students‟ scientific knowledge. This happens when students are taught to use computers as tools for thinking, creating and adapt computers to fit their own needs such as students written simulations, science interfacing. Computers have now been available in Kenyan secondary schools for over ten years. This article presents the results of a study that investigated the use of computers in teaching and learning science in public secondary schools in Kenya. The purpose of the study was to find out if science teachers use computers to help improve the quality of science education. Related literature for this study revealed that teaching/learning science subjects with computer helps to improve students performance in examination. This study was based on a descriptive survey. The area of study was Kisumu Municipality and the study population consisted of 22 head teachers, 1200students and 44science teachers. Saturated sampling was used to select a sample of 20 head teachers, while purposive sampling was used to select a sample of 20 science teachers. At the same time, simple random sampling was used to select a sample of 400 students. Data was collected by use of questionnaire, document analysis guide and observation schedule. Data analysis involved use of descriptive statistics that included graphics, percentages and frequencies. The finding showed that there was inadequate provision of computers in secondary schools. Very few science teachers used computers in teaching/learning science. The study recommended that Head teachers should purchase more computes and provide adequate facilities such as computer laboratory, and trained manpower.
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A Game Playing System for Use in Computer Science Education

A Game Playing System for Use in Computer Science Education

In the MGPS, students can see immediate results of their programs and can compare themselves to any number of baselines provided by instructors or other students. Other work studying the effects of games in computer science ed- ucation has shown that immediate feedback is effective in engaging students (Barnes et al. 2008). This sense of en- gagement will encourage students to design agents that per- form well. Also, the game theory topic is deep, and may in- spire computer science students to research the field deeper and get a head start on their senior classes.

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COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION AT THE START OF THE 21ST CENTURY - A SURVEY OF ACCREDITED PROGRAMS

COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION AT THE START OF THE 21ST CENTURY - A SURVEY OF ACCREDITED PROGRAMS

Table IX describes the nature of degree programs in terms of the computer science courses offered at the upper- level. The survey questionnaire specifically asks about required and elective courses at the junior/senior level that are dedicated to a specific topic. This year’s results are similar to those from past years, in that Operating Systems and Programming Languages continue to be among the most commonly required courses at the upper-level [5]-[8]. A wide variety of course titles were reported as Other required or elective courses offered. See [9] for specific course names listed.
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Physical computing:A key element of modern computer science education

Physical computing:A key element of modern computer science education

We also believe that there will be many additional opportunities beyond CS. There is a natural progression into other high-school subjects – we envisage a plethora of teaching materials that show how to take the same device used in the CS classroom and apply it across the curriculum to leverage hands-on learning in other subjects. For example, physical computing devices readily support data collection in the natural and environmental sciences. As the emerging discipline of data science becomes increasingly established, we imagine that physical computing devices – natural sources of sensor data – will be relevant here too, engaging and educating the next generation of scientists. And finally, both students and hobbyists can be empowered to embark on a maker-to-market journey in many different application domains.
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Learning IS child's play: Game-based learning in computer science education

Learning IS child's play: Game-based learning in computer science education

Knowledge transfer and dissemination have long been recognized as crucial to advancing society. Ancient scholars and philosophers were aware of the significance of transferring ideas through institutional and individual education. Aristotle’s emphasis on the challenges of effective education was prominent: “Learning is not child’s play; we cannot learn without pain” (Aristotle, Politics, Book VIII). Aristotle’s doctrine on education; nonetheless, was founded on learning by doing, reasoning, and reflection – “Anything that we have to learn to do we learn by the actual doing of it... We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate ones, brave by doing brave ones.” (Aristotle Niconachean Ethics, Book II, p.91). Such learning is possible by invo lving learners
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COMPUTER GRAPHICS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION

COMPUTER GRAPHICS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION

The subject Computer Graphics I is mainly focused on basic visualization algorithms, both planar and spatial. The lectured procedures and algorithms are thoroughly practiced on a series of simple sequential problems having a scope of one or two seminars each. Students are not restricted to the use of a specifi c programming language and development tool. They usually choose Java and the Eclipse environment (Eclipse, 2009), some use C++ as their programming language of choice and develop in Microsoft Visual Studio. Within the scope of the seminars of the subject Computer Graphics I no special graphical libraries are used and a function to render a single simplest graphical element (pixel) is virtually the only graphical function available. Further more complicated functions for plotting of segments, polygons or for object transformations are implemented by the students themselves. Later during the term students get a source code of vector and matrix maths libraries, which are used for planar and spatial transformations, projections and a 3D scene viewer set up. Computer Graphics II
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Categories and Subject Descriptors K.3.2 [Computers and Education]: Computer and Information Science Education computer science education.

Categories and Subject Descriptors K.3.2 [Computers and Education]: Computer and Information Science Education computer science education.

The findings from this study suggest a need for helping current HS teachers build a sense of professional identity as a CS teacher, in order to sustain and foster these teachers as committed, quality CS teachers. This is not a unique need for preparing CS teachers. As Alsup [1] concluded in her book, Teacher Identity Discourses, “Beginning teachers need a teacher education that provides them with opportunities to develop satisfying professional identities, so that they can live and work in challenging institutional environments.” As we discussed earlier, the unique challenges for CS teacher professional development are tightly linked with the evolving, young nature of the computing field and the structural context for computing education. As computing educators, we need to recognize and work on how to address these challenges. It is obvious that the structural aspects of CS education under the current educational system, such as curriculum standards and certificate requirements, are critical in determining other aspects of CS education including our CS teachers’ knowledge, motivation, commitment as well as their teaching practices. However, it is hard to change those aspects. Meanwhile, our findings also indicate that many CS teachers are isolated and lack of support and learning opportunities while they feel the need for learning. Therefore, it can be one way to offer support for those existing CS teachers and influence their own sense of identity by creating a community of local CS teachers where they can learn and support each other and change their perceptions of CS, CS teaching and themselves as a (CS) teacher.
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The Role of Visualization in Computer Science Education

The Role of Visualization in Computer Science Education

groups, one using ViLLE and the other using only the textbook. The experiment took place during a two-hour computer lab session. Students in both groups took a pre-test where they were asked to predict the output or the state of a program. Then they read a programming tutorial with ViLLE as lecture aid for one group and only the tutorial for the other group before taking the post-test. The post-test had the same question as the pre- test plus two extra questions about completing a piece of program with given statements. The experiment did not reveal a statistically significant difference between the ViLLE group and the control group as far as learning acquisition. However, within the ViLLE group, there was a significant difference in knowledge improvement for students with no previous programming experience over those with prior experience, thus reducing the gap between novice and experienced programmers. In contrast, a significant difference in the total points earned in the post-test remained between students with prior programming experience and those with no prior experience in the control group. Another experiment was conducted using high school students (Kaila et al., 2010). All class materials were accessible via the Moodle course management system with links to ViLLE for the treat- ment group. At the final exam, students using ViLLE performed better than the control group (statistically significant). ViLLE was more effective for program execution tracing and learning program writing skills.
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Inclusive Computer Science Education Using a Ready-made Computer Game Framework

Inclusive Computer Science Education Using a Ready-made Computer Game Framework

Our hope has been that the Labyrinth framework would enable any college student interested in game design to try their hand at this very popular computer science discipline, and our preliminary evaluation supports this. Future plans for this research include and deployment in a variety of projects within computer science classes (subject to agreeable colleagues), creation of a “project notebook” that will be a collection of actual and proposed programming projects suitable for a variety of courses, and a serious evaluation of Game Maker (www.gamemaker.nl), which has undergone significant, recent development and is gaining acceptance for introductory game design in high school and college courses. Although we are proud of the Labyrinth framework, the realities of building and maintaining a robust game design education software tool may require use of an appropriately priced, easy-to-use, third party tool such as Game Maker.
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COMPUTER SECURITY AND IMPACT ON COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION

COMPUTER SECURITY AND IMPACT ON COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION

The integration of computer security into the existing Computer Science undergraduate education is an urgent and complicated task. With the increasing risk of computer intrusions, computer crimes and information wars, Computer Science educators bear the responsibility of cultivating a new generation of graduates who are aware of computer security related issues and are equipped with proper knowledge and skills to solve the problems. The task of integrating computer security into the Computer Science programs, however, is complicated by the fact that most faculty members lack the specialty of the field. In addition, the fast advancement of computer technology, especially in the Internet and Web related fields, makes the updating of professional knowledge and skills a constant requirement.
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