Team Projects in Computing Education

Special Issue of the ACM Journal Transactions on Computing Education

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To prepare computing graduates for professional careers, their education must provide them with “real-life” experience. Simply lecturing about and discussing all the software development phases is not sufficient preparation for a professional career. There are many tasks beyond those of core software development, for which students need training: project management, team building, software estimation and planning, progress tracking, and communication. Communication, in particular, has become a critical issue, since teams in modern software development projects are often multidisciplinary and distributed over cultures and time zones. Global and distributed development also make it more difficult to set up “real projects for real clients” courses, since there are a range of practical problems, which are difficult to simulate and/or control in an educational setting.

The aim of this special issue is to collect evidence-based information about team projects in computing education. The goal is twofold. On one hand, this information should help educators to improve the state-of-practice in computing education. On the other hand, it should bring forward research on various aspects related to the teaching and learning about team-projects.

We solicit contributions related, but not limited to, the following issues:

Preference will be given to contributions that provide some form of empirical evaluation.

A preliminary one-page abstract of the paper is due April 1, 2014. Feedback will be provided to authors by May 1, regarding relevance of the proposed paper with respect to the Special Issue. If invited, full papers submissions are due August 1, 2014, with publication expected in 2015. Submissions must be done via Manuscript Central (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/toce). In the cover letter, please indicate that the paper is for the Special Issue on Team Projects in Computing Education. More information about the TOCE review criteria can be found on http://toce.acm.org/authors.html.

Guest Editors

Jürgen Börstler, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden
Thomas B. Hilburn, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, USA


Teaching Web Development

Special Issue of the ACM Journal "Transactions on Computing Education"

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The world of web development has experienced a great deal of change over the past decade and many educators struggle to craft curriculum in this area that covers not only the relatively stable essentials but also addresses the dynamics of change in web development. Unlike most computing courses, web development as a topic area tends to have a multitude of different curricular approaches.

This issue has two inter-related aims. The first of these is to communicate current approaches to teaching web development that will be of interest to the wider TOCE community. The second is to reignite the conversation about what role, if any, that web development should have in current computing curricula. Authors are especially encouraged to address the question of what are the fundamental concepts that should be taught in any web development course. Preference will be given to papers that are based on empirical research. Empirical findings may be based on the following, though other rigorously carried out research and evaluation designs are also encouraged:

  1. Systematic reviews of student work.
  2. Student surveys addressing perceived accomplishments and difficulties.
  3. Instructor interviews summarizing course goals and best practices.
  4. Assessments of student answers on exams.

Accounts of course development undergoing multiple iterations and informed by rigorous assessments are particularly valued. Contributions that draw upon established principles of student learning or relate to best practices in computing education will be strongly encouraged. Papers that relate web development course goals and projects with current ACM curriculum models and approaches are also encouraged.

A preliminary one-page abstract of the paper is due October 1, 2013. Feedback will be provided to authors by November 1, regarding relevance of the proposed paper with respect to the Special Issue. If invited, full paper submissions are due February 1, 2014, with publication expected in 2014. Submissions must be done via Manuscript Central (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/toce). In the cover letter, please indicate that the paper is for the Special Issue on Teaching Web Development. More information about the TOCE review criteria can be found on http://toce.acm.org/authors.html.

Guest Editors

Randy W. Connolly, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Craig S. Miller, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA


Computer Science Education in Schools

Special Issue of the ACM Journal "Transactions on Computing Education"
Solicitation Letter

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Recent activities in several countries, for example in the USA, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and South Korea, show a growing awareness of the importance of rigorous computer science education (CSE) for a successful, self-responsive and self-deciding life in the modern world. Consequently, serious efforts are made to introduce or to improve CSE in schools that will be followed by other countries, as we hope. Yet, for any country that wants to improve CSE in schools, it would be advisable to learn from the experiences that were made somewhere else. Nevertheless, those experiences were gathered under preconditions and circumstances that usually differ strongly from country to country. Unfortunately, the short format of conventional scientific papers prevents most reports about such experiences from covering all relevant aspects of the respective context. To produce relief, this Special Issue of TOCE aims to collect extensive, detailed case studies that discuss as many relevant aspects as possible, for example regarding the category system that was proposed in 2011 by the ITiCSE Work- ing Group about Informatics in Secondary Education [1]. According to this system, the studies should take into consideration the following issues:

The editors ask stakeholders or educational researchers to submit elaborated, particularized reports about the situation, the changes or the perspectives of CSE in a certain country or state. Preference will be given to papers that are based on empirical research. In order to give an example, a preceding study was published in TOCE recently [2].

The contributions to this Special Issue could be used by national stakeholders arguing in favor of a subject of Computer Science, by curriculum designers that have to decide which approach an upcoming national initiative should follow, by researchers as a framework for their studies about CSE in schools or by teacher educators as a 'look over the fence'. This should bring the different communities together, triggering new dialogues and enabling the countries to learn from each other.

A preliminary one-page abstract of the paper is due April 1. Feedback will be provided to authors by May 1, regarding relevance of the proposed paper with respect to the Special Issue. Full papers submissions are due July 1, with publication expected in 2014. Submissions must be done via Manuscript Central (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/toce). In the cover letter, please indicate that the paper is for the Special Issue on Computer Science Education in Schools. More information about the TOCE review criteria can be found on http://toce.acm.org/authors.html.

Links to additional information:

Associate Editor:

Peter Hubwieser, Technische Universität München, Germany

Guest Editors:

Michal Armoni, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel,
Valentina Dagiene, Vilnius University, Lithuania,
Michail N. Giannakos, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, Roland T. Mittermeir, Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria.

References

[1] Hubwieser, P., Armoni, M., Brinda, T., Dagiene, V., Diethelm, I., Giannakos, M. N., Knobelsdorf, M., Magenheim, J., Mittermeir, R. T., and Schubert, S. E. 2011. Computer science/informatics in sec- ondary education. In Proceedings of the 16th annual conference reports on Innovation and technology in computer science education - working group reports. ITiCSE-WGR '11. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 19-38.

[2] Hubwieser, P.: Computer Science Education in Secondary Schools - The Introduction of a New Compulsory Subject. Trans. Comput. Educ. 12(4), 16:1-16:41 (2012).