Working groups

We have seven working groups at the conference this year.

Working Groups are formed by participants with a common interest in a topic related to the subject matter of the conference. The groups of 5 to around 10 participants work electronically prior to commencement of the conference. Working groups convene on the Friday evening 8 July before the conference, and start face-to-face work in their sessions on Saturday morning at 9.00 am, 9 July, 2016. Group members are expected to work together for the whole of Saturday and Sunday, and continue their work throughout the conference. The main conference starts on Monday 11 July, 2016 and ends on Wednesday 13 July, 2016. However, attendees are able to attend some conference sessions and a Tuesday afternoon excursion if they wish.

All participants must register for, and be present at, the conference to be considered a contributor towards the final report.

Participants present their results to conference attendees at a special working group presentation session, and submit a final report after the conference concludes. Final reports are refereed and, if accepted, are published at least in the ACM Digital Library.

Working Group 1: Latin American Perspectives to Internationalize Undergraduate Information Technology Education

Mihaela Sabin (University of New Hampshire, USA)
Barbara Viola (Viotech Solutions, Inc., USA)
John Impagliazzo (Hofstra University, USA)

The goal of this working group is to assist in the development of curricular guidelines for relevant, high quality, four-year degree programs in information technology (IT) that prepare successful graduates for a global technological society in the next decade. The working group seeks direct involvement and participation from Latin American academic and professional IT communities in South America and beyond. The working group effort’s objectives will focus on determining:Commonalities and differences between the current draft version of the IT2017 curricularframework and existing IT curricula in Latino American universities;
IT proficiencies of graduates from four-year IT programs in Latino American universities with an emphasis on industry technological needs and expectations of graduates’ qualifications; and
Ways in which to make modifications to the IT2017 report or to existing IT curricula in Latin America to prepare highly competent and globally competitive IT graduates for the 2020s.
Those wishing to participate in this dynamic working group should have a keen interest in developing innovative curricular guidelines in IT that reflect Latin American IT perspectives from academia and industry. Participants, preferably from South and Central America, must be ready, willing, and able to start work in early April in an effort to prepare for the face-to-face working group sessions in July.


Working Group 2: Game Development for Computer Science Education

Chris Johnson (University of Wisconsin, USA)
Monica McGill (Bradley University, USA)

Every computer science educator has dealt with the student who struggles and gives up at the first read of a homework assignment --- but who regularly spends hours engaging in nonstop trial, error, and learning in digital games without even once looking at the manual. What accounts for these two very different attitudes present in the same person? More importantly, how can we help our students be just as eager to learn computer science concepts as they are to learn the complex systems of games? This working group believes that games themselves are the answer. Sadly, few computer science education games exist. We will have to make them.

Because game development is time-intensive and is almost always a collaboration between many disciplines, this working group follows a two-year schedule. At ITiCSE 2016, the group will summarize existing research on game development for computer science education and share plans for games that we expect will help players learn and practice computer science concepts. In the following year, group members will implement these games, collaborating with students and other group members. At ITiCSE 2017, the games and initial analyses of their use will be shared with the computer science education community.


Working Group 3: Teaching Model-Driven Software Development

Ludwik Kuzniarz (Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden)
Luiz Eduardo G. Martins (Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Plínio R. S. Vilela (D2S, Brazil)

Software development is a process starting with specification of requirements, then providing design of the required software and implementing the design. Introducing understanding of the process and teaching the skills required for conducting the process is an important learning objective in any CS/SE curriculum. Recently a new paradigm – Model-Driven Software Development (MDSD) - is been introduced and extensively used in order to manage increasing complexity in the development of software. In the working group we are going to start the work with investigating and discussing current approaches to teaching MDSD - what is taught and how. Later, based on the identified evidence we want to provide suggestions and guidelines on how to introduce MDSD in the software engineering education, in particular what elements of MDSD can and should be included in the curriculum and how they can be properly taught.
These goals are going to be reached by the following means:

Providing a systematic mapping of the state-of-the-art in MDSD teaching.
Reporting the educators experience in teaching MDSD.
Providing guidelines for proper introduction of MDSD into software engineering curricula.

Working Group 4: Ground Rules for Academic Integrity in Computing

Simon (University of Newcastle, Australia)
Judy Sheard (Monash University, Australia)

Although there has been a great deal of recent work on academic integrity in computing assessment, there remains no clear notion of academic standards within the field of computing education.
The Australian-based Prianit project recently posed a number of questions about academic integrity in computing assessment, questions about the re-use of one’s own and others’ code, the need to reference such code, the manner of referencing such code, the legitimacy of seeking debugging assistance in individual assessment tasks, and more. The project members argued that they do not have the authority to answer the questions; that the answers must be provided by the computing education academic community. But what is the computing education community, and how does it speak?

An ITiCSE working group, combining diverse perspectives from around the world, might be well placed to propose answers on behalf on the computing education community – even if those answers are merely a starting point, to be further debated and refined. This working group will set out to lay the ground rules for academic integrity in computing assessment, clearly distinguishing them where appropriate from the rules of academic integrity in essay-type assessment.


Working Group 5: Gender Equity in Computing Programs

Margaret Hamilton (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Andrew Luxton-Reilly (University of Auckland, New Zealand)

In many countries serious effort has been put into developing and running courses to encourage girls to enjoy learning programming. Many young girls have done very well in these courses, but despite their confidence and enthusiasm for programming at the time of the intervention, few have continued on to enrol in computing programs. Also, the running of the interventionary project courses takes effort on the part of the academics to develop and much time, often in vacation periods, to deliver. This working group aims to evaluate the enduring programs to identify the key features of such projects and put forward some serious recommendations for addressing the continuing low female enrolments.

The numbers of females enrolled in Computer Science, Information Technology and even Multimedia programs remain low, with the newspapers in the UK and Australia reporting 1 in 5 computing students are female, the ReadWrite review in the US quoting 18% of women graduating in Computer Science and newspapers in New Zealand reporting women have less than 30% of the technical roles in the computing industry. Reasons given for the lack of females, and for their failure to continue, are many and varied. This working group will consider all the reasons given for this in the literature. The aim is develop guidelines for the running of programs in primary schools and in the final years of school to encourage girls of all ages to seriously consider the prospect of undertaking a computing degree.

However, times are changing and the ways of encouraging girls into many STEM areas of study as well as other areas of employment are also changing. Now it is rarely optional for women to work, and they need to seriously consider careers and prospects for sustainable and resilient employment, rather than short-term jobs opportunities or occupations purely for earning money quickly. There have been many scholarly research studies undertaken and computing professional societies such as the ACM have clubs and websites of resources to encourage and support women in computing. We will gather and critically review these resources with the aim of developing evaluation guidelines for the running of programs in primary schools and in the final years of school to encourage girls of all ages to seriously consider the prospect of undertaking a computing degree.


Working Group 6: Novice Programmers and the Problem Description Effect

Dennis Bouvier (Southern Illinois University, USA)
Ellie Lovellette (Southern Illinois University, USA)
John Matta (Southern Illinois University, USA)

In an experiment we conducted, subsets of our students have attempted two versions of the same programming challenge: one version is described in a real-world context; the other version is the same problem expressed only in terms of the numbers; that is, without context. We assumed the contextualization would be a barrier to understanding that would cause students to preform less well. On the contrary, the students solving the contextualized problem performed better.

We seek an international team to conduct a follow up to our study in which we explore the role of contextualization of a problem in a programming assignment. Each working group member will conduct an experiment in which the participants are students at the same level of programming experience. Ideally, the participants are at the end, or have recently completed, a first introduction to programming (CS1) course. The participants will be randomly divided into two groups. One group will be asked to solve a problem as stated with a real world description; the other group of participants will be asked to solve the same problem as described by the data only.


Working Group 7: Game Jam Junior Working Group Education

Allan Fowler (Kennesaw State University, USA)
Johanna Pirker (Graz University of Technology, Austria)

Game Jam Junior is designed to introduce young learners to computer science concepts in a fun and engaging way. Through introducing these concepts at an early age in an entertaining way, it is possible to influence or improve perceptions of computer science as a career. In this working group, we will discuss the potential of Game Jam Junior.

The scope includes but is not limited to:

  • Exploring the potential of Game Jam Junior to increase diversity in computer science
  • Establishing Game Jam Junior sites
  • Identifying potential partnerships
  • Identifying potential research projects at the Game Jam Junior
  • Identifying collaborators and partners for grant applications