CCSE Reading Group: Deep problems in designing a course

Published: 11 October 2021

Steve and Joe reflect on the difficulties faced when designing a course.

DATE: 18th October 2021
TIME: 13:00-14:00
LOCATION: CCSE Online Seminar Room

One overall aim of this presentation is to build on a) the 11 Oct talk by Wim on new aims for CER of sustainable computing, and Waqar's new aims for accessibility of (computing) education.

b) The major diversity of views on CER that emerged from the session on 4 Oct, especially
b1) Those who don't see or expect any knowledge about education that applies in CS to generalise to or from education in other disciplinary areas vs.
b2) Those with the opposite tendency who explicitly look for how to adapt knowledge and methods from one disciplinary area and apply it in another.

Menu (a fixed menu -- no choice for the audience  on this occasion) of content points that will be covered:
1. Wim and Waqar's aims can usefully be viewed as new additional requirements in (re)designing teaching and learning
2. Many requirements are implicit:  important but not written down.
3. Some requirements are not merely unwritten but are not known.  Get used to it.
4. The nature of design is satisfying multiple independent requirements.
This is the same as saying that applied disciplines address design; and so multiple requirements.
Education is an applied discipline in this sense.
5. Applied disciplines have different kinds of knowledge; and somewhat different kind of transfer of knowledge.  E.g. learning designs ("patterns").

The style of the session will be a surprise to all concerned.
It may be a lecture exposition of serious points.
Or it may take the form of a joke lecture on "How to design an Introductory Programming Course", used to illustrate the underlying points.  The points will apply to other disciplines, but CS is arguably even more egocentric than other disciplines.

Efforts will be made to attract many questions from the audience to keep me in touch with them;  and afterwards there will be circulated a long list of "Questions not answered" and "Questions the speaker thought he answered" to prevent mistaken smugness in the speakers.

First published: 11 October 2021