WIPSCE 2017

The Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education will be held in Nijmegen from 8-10 November 2017. Although titled a “workshop” this is now an international conference which particularly focuses on computing education research in school (which from now on I will shorten to CERS. It’s a single track conference which means that everybody listens to all the papers and this makes for a very friendly and supportive community. WIPSCE was one of my first forays into the research world of computer science education and I would recommend this conference to anybody considering finding out more about CERS. All papers are peer reviewed and published in the WIPSCE proceedings and the ACM Digital Library.

The King’s College London Computing Education team has been growing over recent years and we have had four publications accepted at this conference. In terms of full papers, Maria Kallia has had a paper accepted relating to the first stage of her research on threshold concepts in programming at ages 14-18. She carried out a study with teachers using the Delphi methodology whereby they communicate with the researcher on a number of occasions until they reach a consensus. In this case the research identified a number of potential threshold concepts in the area of functions and parameters that Maria will now explore in the next phases of her research. Jane Waite will present a poster on her interviews with primary school teachers and the way that they use design in their classrooms. Sue, Jane, Lucy and Emily have had a second paper accepted about their research around the BBC micro:bit – in this paper we looked at the ways that teachers use physical computing technology in the classroom and identified three different approaches. Finally, Sue and Jane are presenting a poster (2 page paper) on our new PRIMM project which focuses on pedagogies for teaching programming in the classroom.

Our papers:

Sentance, S. & Waite, J. ( 2017)  PRIMM: Exploring pedagogical approaches for teaching text-based programming in school Proceedings of the 12th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education: WIPSCE ’17. Nijmegen

Kallia, M. & Sentance, S. (2017) Computing Teachers’ Perspectives on Threshold Concepts: Functions and Procedural Abstraction  Proceedings of the 12th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education: WIPSCE ’17.

Waite, J., Curzon, P., Marsh, W. & Sentance, S. (2017) K-5 Teachers’ Uses and Understanding of Levels of Abstraction Focusing on Design Proceedings of the 12th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education: WIPSCE ’17.

Sentance, S., Waite, J., MacLeod, E. & Yeomans, L. E. (2017) Teaching with physical computing devices: the BBC micro:bit initiative 28 Jul 2017 Proceedings of 12th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education: WIPSCE ’17.

If you would like to find out more about our research do email any of the researchers using these email addresses: sue.sentance, maria.kallia, jane.waite all at kcl.ac.uk