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Research and Professional Activities
My main research interest is Computer Science Education, in particular active
and cooperative learning, classroom assessment, novice debugging, pair programming,
and increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minority students in CS.
Recent and Ongoing Activities
- I am Editor (jointly with Sally Fincher)
for the journal Computer
- I am a member of the International Computing Education Research Workshop
(ICER 2012) program committee.
- Recently I participated in an NSF funded
Workshop on qualitative research methods for CS education. We presented
results of our research at a panel at SIGCSE 2011 in Dallas, TX.
- In August 2010, my co-author Sue Fitzgerald presented our paper titled Pair debugging:
a transactive discourse analysis
(see publications) at the annual
ICER conference in Aarhus, Denmark.
- In October 2009, David Wolff and I presented our paper on using video podcasts in
CS1 (see publications) at the annual
CCSC-NW conference held here at PLU.
- In March 2009, a paper I co-authored on advice from students about how to succeed in CS1
(see publications) was
presented at the 2009 SIGCSE Conference
in Chattanooga, TN.
- In September 2008, a paper I co-authored on using a self-theories intervention in
CS (see publications) was presented at the
International Computing Education Research Workshop (ICER) in
- In June 2008, a paper I co-authored on the implications of self-theories
research on CS education (see publications) was presented at the ACM's
Conference on Inovation and Technology in Computer
Science Education (ITiCSE) in Madrid, Spain.
- In May 2008, David Wolff and I were awarded a grant from the Northwest
Academic Computing Consortium (NWACC) to implement and study the effects of using
theoretically grounded screencasts and annotated worked examples in CS1
- In spring of 2008, I was awarded a PLU Regency Advancment Award to study novice
- In March 2008, I presented a paper I co-authored on novice debugging strategies
(see publications) at the annual ACM SIGCSE
conference in Portland, OR.
- I was a discussant at the 2008
SIGCSE Doctoral Consortium.
- I am currently working with the DEBUG Group, a multi-institutional, distributed research
group of CS educators from across the country
(we "meet" each week using VoIP software called Marratech).
Papers describing our debugging literature review and multi-institutional study of the
debugging skills of novice programmers (see publications) were published in CSE in June 2008.
A paper describing results of our investigation of
the role of self-theories in introductory programming appeared in ICER 2008. Currently
we are working on a review of the pair-programming literature and an analysis of
pair debugging data.
- In recent years I have enjoyed teaching Scratch
to middle school girls
(materials), volunteering as an Alice workshop facilitator at
Expanding Your Horizons, a
day-long conference for middle school girls, and as a judge at the annual MESA Day competition.
- In September 2007 I attended the Third International Computing Education
Research Workshop (ICER '07) at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA.
At ICER I also attended a
Statistics Bootcamp for Computer Science Education Researchers
and I served on the ICER '07 program committee.
- During the fall 2006 and winter 2007 quarters, I participated in an educational theory
course called How People Learn at
the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. During the first quarter we read the course's title
text, studied classic educational theorists such as Dewey, Vygotsky and Piaget, and
explored how brain biology and peoples' theories of intelligence relate to teaching and learning. The second quarter
focused on a wide range of topics such as the educational impacts of culture, race and class, constructivist
educational theories and emotional intelligence.
- In conjunction with ICER '06, I attended The Second International
Workshop on Phenomenography in Computing Education Research (PhICER). A
paper summarizing the results of the PhICER II experiment (see publications) was presented at the
Calling Conference in Finland in November 2007. The PhICER subgroup
I worked with presented a paper at ICER '07 in September (see publications).
- During the 2005-06 academic year I participated in a Disciplinary Commons
project organized by Josh Tenenberg at the
University of Washington, Tacoma. In May 2006 we gave a presentation
the project at the Pacific
Education Teaching & Learning Conference in Vancouver, WA.
- During 2006 I participated in and acted
as facilitator for
a faculty study seminar as part of the PLU Wild Hope Project.
- In March 2006, a paper I co-authored on
gender differences in the learning
of programming concepts (see publications) was presented at the annual
ACM SIGCSE conference in Houston, TX.
- For several years I worked with a group of CS educators from around the country
on a study investigating the programming knowledge structures of computer
science seniors. The study was a follow-up to one conducted during the
Bootstrapping Research in Computer Science Education project. The original study used a knowledge aquisition technique
called a repeated single-criterion card sort to investigate the knowledge structures of novice programmers.
- In October 2005 David Wolff and I presented our paper on electronic classroom assessment (see publications) and I participated on a panel titled
"Models for Computer Science
K-12 Outreach Activities" at the annual
CCSC-NW conference in Bothell, WA.
- During 2004-05 David Wolff and I sponsored an undergraduate research project funded by a
Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CRUE) grant from the
Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W).
Two PLU CS majors, April Buckley and Kristen Wilson, implemented a "Lab CATs" project that involved the
electronic implementation of three Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) for use in
introductory CS labs. We are continuing our work with electronic CATs in a classroom setting in the
CSCE department's computer classroom in the Morken Center for Learning and Technology.