Members of the Centre for CS Education (CCSE) Recieve ACM Europe Best Paper Award

Issued: Wed, 24 Jul 2019 10:27:06 BST

Peter Donaldson, a lecturer in the School of Education and member of the Pedagogy, Praxis and Faith Research and Teaching group, is sharing in a €1000 honorarium as a co-author of the ACM Europe Best Paper at the Innovation in Computer Science Education conference 2019 (ITiCSE19). The paper “Experience Report: Thinkathon - Countering an “I Got It Working” Mentality with Pencil-And-Paper Exercises” was based on new research on a novel method for developing deeper understanding of introductory level CS concepts, created by an interdisciplinary CCSE team led by Professor Quintin Cutts.

The approach, and its impact on participants, has already generated significant interest within the wider CS education community, with several universities, including University of California, San Diego, considering incorporating similar sessions into future introductory CS courses. Academics interested in holding their own Thinkathon can find exercises, solutions and details of the format at

Members of CCSE also participated in seven of the ten international research working groups at ITiCSE19; many of them directly relevant to school level CS Education. Professor Cutts helped to develop a new learning trajectory for novice program comprehension skills as part of working group 2; Mr Donaldson explored the use of learning theories within existing CS Education research and helped develop a new visual notation and primer to describe them in working group 5; and PhD student and Education Scotland inspector Ms Cole helped to conduct an international benchmark study of school level CS Education in working group 6. Working group reports will be published by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Digital Library in early January 2020.

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