| About ITiCSE 2001 | Host
Working Group Schedule
Jan 22nd - April 12th
|Applications to join groups
April - June 22nd
|Groups work electronically
|Groups convene in Canterbury
|Buffet lunch for Group members
|Verbal presentation of Group
issues to conference
|Conference ends; draft report
|Final report submitted
Working Group Concept
A working group consists of five to ten
members who share a common interest. They will begin work by electronic
communication before the conference - this phase is critically important
to the group's success. The group will actually convene on June 23rd 2001.
Potential working group members should realize
that being a member of a working group will require a large commitment
during the conference. Each group will set their own schedule, so that
they can draft their report by the end of the conference. These reports
will be completed, edited and if suitable, will be published after the
conference as a supplemental proceeding and distributed to all conference
attendees. The will also be posted to the ACM's
ITICSE Working Groups are not a new concept,
and a history of their topics and outputs may be found at http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/csed/iticse/
In 1998, two seasoned WG campaigners produced
a good paper on making the concept work - this can be read at http://www.csc.vill.edu/~joyce/wgroups/success.html
Applying to be a Working Group Participant
Prepare about a two page (1000 word) proposal
as follows: Name, Contact Information, Affiliation, Position/Title.
Include a description of your experience
and a position statement relative to the working group(s) you wish to
join. Plain text electronic submissions are preferred as this will facilitate
sharing of information.
Send your application to the Working Group
Convenor of the Group(s) in which you are interested.
Mail the organiser, Roger Boyle, School of
Computing, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, firstname.lastname@example.org
with any problems.
The 3 groups that will operate are;
(Group convenors will be able to provide fuller
information on request).
1. Assessment of programming skills of 1st year CS
Michael McCracken, email@example.com
Computer Science educators have been concerned with student's
ability to learn to program almost since the first computer science
course. Numerous studies have been conducted to uncover the issues of
learning to program, and many others have studied various aspects of
the problem of learning to program. Many other researchers have looked
at programming's similarity to mathematics learning, its similarity
to second language learning, and its need to be learned at an early
age. These studies have helped computer science educators improve the
teaching of programming. But one issue remains. Do computer science
students really know how to program? A second and equally important
issue is are they learning to program in the introductory courses where
the foundations of programming skills are supposed to be developed?
Asking the question, "Do computer science students know
how to program", appears to be a sacrilege. Yet, there is anecdotal
evidence that suggests many students do not know how to program, in
particular in their first and second years. Over the last year we have
conducted some informal experiments to confirm our misgivings and are
finding surprising results. The students don't know how to program nor
do they have a grasp of the fundamentals of programming at the level
of competence we expect. We have looked at data from both our first
and second year courses and find results that are relatively consistent.
The second year students obviously have more skill than the first year
students, but their skill is no where near the level we expected. We
have also had conversations with colleagues in other computer science
programs and their concerns are similar to ours.
This working group proposal wants to answer the question:
"Do you know what your students' programming skills are and are those
skills at the level you have established for your program?
2. Striving for mathematical thinking
Peter B. Henderson, firstname.lastname@example.org
There is significant interest stirring regarding the important
relationships between mathematical reasoning and computer science thinking.
Some surveys seem to indicate that it may be heading away from mathematics,
but we seem to have a contradiction - other surveys indicate that mathematics
and mathematical thinking are central to computer science education.
Over the past 20 years, discrete math has migrated from an upper division
course to a lower division, and several universities require it the
This working group will apply the collective wisdom of
the participants to develop concrete strategies, activities and material
for enhancing the role of mathematical thinking/reasoning in computer
science education. Mathematical thinking plays a crucial role in computer
science based problem solving, and heightened awareness of this synergistic
relationship within the computer science education community will lead
to the development of better software systems.
3. Resources for instructors of capstone s/w development
Tony Clear, email@example.com
Frank Young, firstname.lastname@example.org
We propose to collect and organize resources for capstone
software development courses. Our goal is to provide capstone software
development course instructors with a collection of web-based resources.
We anticipate that the web site will allow instructors of capstone courses
to learn from the experiences and errors of others. The desired result
is an improvement in the quality and effectiveness of capstone courses
Instructors for these courses must consider many important
issues Most instructors who supervise capstone courses fail to consider
every one of the important issues. It is fairly obvious that one reason
for this is that the number of issues is quite large. Another reason
is that instructors who are inexperienced in supervising such projects
may be unaware of the importance of certain issues. What is needed is
a community resource that all capstone instructors, new and experienced,
are able to consult. The information placed there should enable all
instructors of capstone software development courses to improve their
courses. There is no desire to codify any recommended uniform standards
for such courses. We seek quality through the diversity that results
from informed choice.