Monday, November 2, 2009

Conference Trip

I just got back from a trip to Villanova University to the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges - East conference. It's a great place to see what people from campuses similar to ours are doing in their classrooms. There were faculty from other state system schools, liberal arts colleges, and the Penn State branch campuses. You can see what kinds of things we talked about at

I was presenting the work we've done on using video phenomenography to study how student's problem solving strategies mature throughout their education. I was most pleased with two other sessions. One was by an alumnus of ours, Jeff Stone, who is teaching at Penn State Schuylkyl and is exploring what effects student's perceptions of computer science as a discipline and the other was by the Philadelphia Area Computer Science Teacher's Association and how they are working toward certification of high school computer science teachers. I agree!

I was very pleased to see that we continue to have more flexibility in our curriculum and our research as a result of the generosity of our alumni. I spoke with a colleague who was hampered in an interesting project for his CS1 students because his administration didn't have $100 for some equipment. I agree that times are tough, but our alumni continue to help us sustain a strong program that involves our students in lots of interesting project and I am grateful for that.

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