Dziallas, S. and Fincher, S. (2016). The History and Purpose of Computing Curricula (1960s to 2000s). in:Communities of Computing: Computer Science and Society in the ACM.ACM Books, pp. 91-110. Available at: http://www.morganclaypoolpublishers.com/catalog_Orig/product_info.php?products_id=991.
Fincher, S., Finlay, J. and Dziallas, S. (2017). Building a Graduate Employability Community in Computing: the GECCO Workshops. Council of Professors and Heads of Computing. Available at: https://employability.disciplinarycommons.org/.
In this paper, we discuss students' expectations and experiences in the first term of the Year in Computing, a new programme for non-computing majors at the University of Kent, a public research university in the UK. We focus on the effect of students' home discipline on their experiences in the programme and situate this work within the context of wider efforts to make the study of computing accessible to a broader range of students.
Dziallas, S. et al. (2017). The Year in Computing Initiative. in:Engineering Education Research Network Annual Symposium.. Available at: http://www.raeng.org.uk/events/list-of-events/2017/november/engineering-education-research-network-symposium-2.
Graduateness as a concept describes attributes that all graduates should have developed by the time they leave university. In my work, I take a different view and explore graduateness as constructed through graduates' individual narratives.
Dziallas, S. and Fincher, S. (2016). Aspects of Graduateness in Computing Students' Narratives. in:ICER 2016.pp. 181-190. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2960310.2960317.
In this paper, we explore graduates' characterisations of their learning experiences at university and beyond. Using a narrative methodology, we elicited life stories from graduates of the School of Computing at the University of Kent. We initially review and situate our approach within the wide variety of existing narrative approaches. Then, we turn to an aspect of the student experience that struck us as particularly significant: the "year in industry". We discuss the accounts of ten participants who completed a year in industry and highlight their perspectives of the effect it had on them. Finally, we propose a narrative construction of the concept of graduateness – of what it means to complete a university degree.
Fincher, S. et al. (2016). Negotiating Academic Communities: Narratives of Life-long Learners. in:12th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS).. Available at: https://www.isls.org/icls/2016/.
We bring together three case studies in computer science and engineering which were launched for the same purpose: to understand what participants – students, high-school teachers, and university teachers – considered themselves to be significant in their pursuit of professional growth and what empowered and disempowered them. All three studies use narrative methods, although in different ways. The studies share two findings: (a) participants were engaged in processes of becoming or being life-long learners, and (b) the importance of community in their narratives.
Dziallas, S. and Fincher, S. (2015). Exploring Students' Conception of Learning through Narratives. in:Engineering Education Research Network Annual Symposium.. Available at: http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/events/eer-annual-symposium/.
Fincher, S. and Dziallas, S. (2015). Then and Now: Past Experience Echoed in University Computing Teachers' Current Practice. in:Research in Engineering Education Symposium.. Available at: http://www.rees2015.org/.
Individual experiences, and the sense we make of them, shape who we are. For educators, experiential narratives affect both their day-to-day practice – the way they teach – and also the kind and quality of changes they make to their practice. In this work, we draw on data collected as part of a longitudinal study for the Sharing Practice project to explore how teachers' experiences are "echoed" in their current practice. We describe the concept of 'pedagogic stance' and propose ways in which it may be identified. We suggest that an understanding of pedagogic stance may enable researchers to affect educators' practice more effectively.
Dziallas, S. (2015). Characterizing Graduateness in Computing Education. in:International Computing Education Research.
In my research, I employ a highly qualitative, narrative methodology to explore the sense students make of their own educational experiences within their wider learning trajectories. By taking such a holistic perspective on a Computing Education, I hope to be able to identify and distil aspects of successful Computing programs, whose effects may only emerge over time.
Fincher, S. and Dziallas, S. (2015). Academic Hunger. in:Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference.. Available at: http://www.srhe.ac.uk/conference2015/.
In this paper, we illuminate themes that emerged in interviews with participants in the major curriculum recommendation efforts: we characterize the way the computing community interacts with and influences these reports and introduce the term "pedagogic projection" to describe implicit assumptions of how these reports will be used in practice. We then illuminate how this perceived use has changed over time and may affect future reports.
Dziallas, S. and Fincher, S. (2015). The Evolution and Purpose of Computing Curricula (1960s to 2000s). in:SHOT Annual Meeting.
In this study, we report on the student experience at Olin College, a small undergraduate university in the United States with an explicit mission to transform engineering education. We employ a highly narrative approach to situate students' individual experiences within their larger learning trajectories and use them as a lens through which we view the accounts of their time at college. We highlight a series of themes: from often successful, but traditional high school experiences to an academic dislocation in the first year in college that reinforces fundamentally different values of what it means to be an engineer. The resulting dissonance (and inherent wrestling) students experience as they adjust into an environment that values interdisciplinary activities and student autonomy emerged as a central theme of this study. We connect these themes to shifts in motivation and accountable disciplinary knowledge to reveal what it means for college students to 'learn beyondsuccess'.