Professor Tim Bell
University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Title: How do we help school teachers get engaged with a new computing curriculum?
The subject of computer science is appearing in school curricula around the world, sometimes under the title of "Computational Thinking", "Computing" or "Digital Technologies". In most cases it hasn't been taught before, particularly in primary/elementary schools. School teachers play a key role in the success of curriculum changes, but because many aren't familiar with the subject, and probably haven't even studied it in their own schooling, there can be a lot of barriers to getting them to embrace the new subject, let alone teach it with enthusiasm. In this talk we will look at the issues surrounding adoption of the subject, and how they can be overcome.
Tim Bell is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury. His "Computer Science Unplugged'' project is being widely used internationally with the supporting materials (books and videos) having been translated into over 20 languages. Tim has received many awards for his work in computing education including the ETH (Zurich) ABZ International Honorary Medal for Fundamental Contributions in Computer Science Education (in 2013) and the 2018 ACM SIGCSE Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education award. Since 2008 he has been actively involved in the design and deployment of the approach to the teaching of digital technologies in New Zealand schools.
Professor Carmel McNaught
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Title: Strategies for Overcoming Assessment Challenges in Computer Science and Engineering Education
The rhetoric of graduate capabilities being firmly embedded into all undergraduate curricula does not match the reality of the evidence about the limited skill sets that many of our graduating students have when they enter the world of work or graduate studies. I will argue that the solution to this challenging situation lies in focusing substantial energy on assessment reform. Several questions come to mind:
- Why have a myriad of attempts been less than optimally successful in improving student learning of fundamental concepts in science and engineering?
- To what extent does assessment in university programs support students’ development of graduate capabilities?
- How can teachers integrate the so-called ‘soft’ skills of team work, communication, negotiation, etc., with learning the ‘hard’ knowledge and cognitive skills required for effective problem solving?
- How can university teachers learn strategies of coping with large first-year classes while still facilitating students to seriously interrogate evidence, and overcome prior learning gaps and unhelpful strategies and ideas?
- How can university teachers gain in self-confidence and grow professionally?
Carmel McNaught is Emeritus Professor of Learning Enhancement and former Director of the Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research (CLEAR) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is also Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa and Adjunct Professor at Auckland University of Technology. Since the early 1970s, Carmel has worked in universities in Australasia, southern Africa and the UK in the fields of chemistry, science education, teacher education, second-language learning, eLearning, and higher-education curriculum and policy matters. She has been involved in several professional organizations and is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education. She is a prolific author on a wide range of educational topics and a sought-after keynote speaker; recent publications and activities can be viewed at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/clear/people/Carmel.html. She is currently a consultant, working mostly in Africa, Australia, Hong Kong and other countries in Asia, New Zealand, the UAE and the UK.