Programming as a second language

A recent article in ACM Inroads caught my attention after it was posted and discussed on the Computer Science Education: Research & Practitioners Facebook page. The article, which is quite a long read, discusses a paper published back in 2014 about an fMIR study that showed when students were trying to understand a piece of […]

Counting Friends

We try to measure so many things, but we are aware that measuring things in academia can incentivize perverse behavior and lead to weird side-effects. So, I’ve decided to measure something that isn’t commonly cared about in education and I’m hoping that measuring this objective and incentivizing its maximization will lead to a (non-perverse) side-effect […]

An all girls team in a CS course?

I teach a course with 76 students and 7 of them are female students. My course is flipped: during class time groups of students are working on various activities, using lightweight teams for practicing the concepts in the lecture on some days and project based teams for applying the concepts to project assignments on other […]

And now for something completely different….

Hi, I’m the Lead Evaluator in the Center for Education Innovation (CEI). You may be asking, ‘what’s an evaluator?’ My parents asked me how to describe my job to their friends- and how on earth it relates to my degree in counselor education.  Let’s start with evaluation; I’ll save the counseling piece for another day. […]

To Categorize, or Not To Categorize, That is The Question (Part 1)

In my last post, I talked about categories, particularly race and gender. Let’s dive farther into the general idea of categories this week. Our brain’s ability and need to categorize serves a base function in our day-to-day lives. Think about the sheer VOLUME of information your brain processes in nanoseconds–size, shape, smell, taste, color, texture, […]

Let’s Talk Intersectionality

How do you categorize yourself? Do you think of yourself primarily in singular terms of gender and race, such as “I’m a man” or “I’m a person of color”? Do you ever think about how your categories overlap? Let’s take me, for example. I’m a woman. And I’m white. While I’m frequently aware of my […]

Gender-Paired Programming

Our College offers a variety of CS1 sections, including the fully flipped, active learning, team-based, media-computation version that I designed (with the help of Bruce Long). All CS1 sections have a lab component, but in our version, we do gender-paired programming. There’s a lot to unpack when you talk about this, and in this post […]

Improving the team experience with reflection questions

We all struggle with how to enable a positive experience for students in teams. Here I explore how reflection may provide a way for students to understand their own experience so they can make it more positive. One of the hallmarks of effective active learning in our College is the concept of lightweight teams. These […]

The problem with traditional CS Ed

I have a contention. It might be considered controversial by some. Others might think what I am saying is obvious. Traditional computer science programs and old-school computer science professors have not been teaching computer science. They have been giving course credit and granting degrees to a small set of stereotypically nerdy students (mostly white and […]