Working Group Information
Four working groups will convene during ITiCSE 2003. A working group
will consist of five to ten people who share a common interest in one of
the four areas described below. Working groups will commence with
electronic communication two months before the conference. The working
groups will meet at the conference site for the two days before the
conference and throughout the conference. Each working group will
determine its own meeting schedule.
Intermediate working group results will be presented to all conference
attendees at a conference session. By the end of the conference each
working group will have produced a robust draft of a report. Within four
weeks the groups will submit a polished version of the report, which will
be reviewed, possibly revised, and edited under the supervision of the
working group coordinator. Suitable reports will be published in a SIGCSE
Bulletin and become part of the ACM Digital Library.
An endorsement from the previous year's working group
I have been a member and/or a leader of working groups in five of
six initial ITiCSE conferences. I have rarely done anything more
exciting or valuable.
I have made a large number of professionally valuable
through the groups and these have lasted. I've participated in
work of interest to myself an others. It has been fun, though
I recommend it highly.
To apply to participate in a working group contact the working groups
coordinator and the leader of the group you would like to join. While
there is no set application process, in your communication you should
Deadline for application to a working group is April 18,
- Name and contact information.
- Why you are interested in participating in the particular
- What specific expertise in the area you bring to the working
group. This should include background and prior contributions to the
topic of the group.
- If possible, a short bibliography of your prior work in the
Note that the working groups are not tutorials. The purpose is not to
learn something about a topic of which you know little. Working groups
bring experts (and future experts) on a topic together for intensive work.
Occasionally a group might admit a person with little experience and a lot
of enthusiasm, but these participants are definitely in the minority. The
working group leaders will want to know what you can bring to the group
and what you have done in the past.
Working group leaders, members, and potential members should examine the
members page for more detailed information
about the working group experience.
For more information, contact the working groups coordinator: Michael
Goldweber ( email@example.com )
With increasing class sizes in educational establishments worldwide, the
practice of assessment is becoming a problematic issue; increasing numbers
make it increasingly difficult to assess student attainment. This working
group intends to investigate current assessment practices, particularly
the use of automated assessment, in computer science education. This
includes determining the scope and usage of automated assessment
techniques in educational institutions worldwide, the educational
soundness of the techniques used, and the impact of these techniques on
areas including student achievement, plagiarism, and staff workloads.
Current practice regarding assessment techniques needs to be located
within current educational theory. Once this is established we will be in
a position to suggest a set of internationally applicable guidelines for
educators setting automated CS assessments.
Automated assessment saves time and human resources but its adoption must
be pedagogically sound; all assessments should follow sound educational
principles. The major output will be a survey of, and guidelines for the
use of, automated assessment within CS teaching and learning, although
other findings will also emerge. The envisaged outputs are: a taxonomy of
CS assessment; guidelines for assessing CS materials; guidelines for the
use of automated assessment within CS; the provision of sound pedagogic
principles for the adoption of appropriate assessment methods for the
scenario; a picture of the correlation between a student's understandings
of the different topic areas taught within a CS degree program.
See the Working
Group's Web page for more information.
- How do pre-university computing qualifications relate to what is
in university computing courses?
- Typically, do universities make a pre-university computing
qualification a requirement for entrance into a computing degree
- In computing, is it possible to forecast which students are likely to
have successful university careers on the basis of the qualifications they
bring with them?
- Is a good grade in a pre-university computing qualification an
indicator of success in computing?
- Do students bringing a good mathematics qualification do better?
These issues are fundamental to anyone involved with admiting candidates
to computing degrees and to all university computing educators who have
expectations of new undergraduates. The working group will consider the
situation in a variety of countries.
Before arrival in Thessaloniki working group members will: research school
level qualifications in computing relevant to university entrance in their
country; circulate details of formal entrance requirements and actual
attainment of a CS cohort on entry; circulate details of the first year
computer science curriculum in their institution; collect statistical data
on relative performance of sub-cohorts.
Working group meetings will: compare pre-university computing
qualifications in each country; consider whether pre-university
qualifications confer an advantage in university study in each country
represented; compare statistical evidence from each country relating to
how well pre-university computing qualifications predict success in
university study; write a report for publication.
See the Working
Group's Web page for more information.
Concepts first in introductory programming
Juris Reinfelds (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peter Van Roy (email@example.com)
Byte-code has enabled ubiquitous multi-platform programming. Dot NET and
its Open Source implementation MONO are enabling multi language,
multi-paradigm code. Our teaching of programming has to adapt to the
requirements of these new directions, but how to do it without an
explosion of required course hours?
Programming languages dwell on syntactic and semantic differences that
distinguish one language from the others. Programming theory extracts and
studies the concepts and mechanisms that are common to programming
languages. A Programmer's Theory of Programming deals with concepts that
programmers use to reason about programs. An approach through a
Programmer's Theory of Programming is one way that an introduction to
multi-language, multi-paradigm, distributed computing can be fitted into
the class-hours currently allocated to CS-1 and CS-2.
This Working Group will explore and define a concepts-first approach to
introductory programming, compare it to the current approaches and
contrast it with other possible approaches that are intended to equip CS
graduates to better deal with the programming needs of tomorrow.
Evaluating the educational impact of algorithm visualization
Tom Naps (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Guido Rößling (email@example.com)
Visualization technology can be used to graphically illustrate various
concepts in computer science. However, the instructional effectiveness of
using such visualizations remains in doubt. Recent research has begun to
show that visualization technology used in isolation may not be nearly as
effective as when that technology is used in conjunction with strategies
for "engaging" the students with the visualizations they watch. This
suggests that what learners do, not what they see, may have the greatest
impact on learning. In an attempt to formalize some of these results, a
2002 ITiCSE working group on "Improving the Educational Impact of
Algorithm Visualization" developed a framework for conducting experimental
studies of visualization effectiveness (http://csf11.acs.uwosh.edu/wgReport.html).
Central to this framework was a taxonomy of learner engagement with the
This working group hopes to use the framework developed last year to plan
and analyze a small number of effectiveness studies. Towards this end,
applicants are being sought from anyone who is interested in being part of
planning experimental studies that collect some form of data regarding the
effectiveness (or lack thereof) of using visualizations in attempting to
help students learn computer science concepts.
During the working group sessions in June we will develop the details of
those plans. Then, after returning to our respective campuses, we will
collectively examine the data we collect and determine how it fits into
the engagement taxonomy from the previous year's report. In doing so, we
hope to see how data from such individual carefully planned experiments
fits into the "big picture" and gain further insight into how
visualizations can be effectively used. We emphasize that we are not just
interested in having participants from the 2002 working group apply for
this working group. Any educator with interest in planning and
participating in a "visualization effectiveness study" will bring a
valuable contribution to this working group. In return, the group will
help that educator make better sense out of the data that is collected and
hopefully fit that data into the visualization taxonomy that the 2002
working group developed.
See the Working Group's Web
page for more information.