Helping Leigh Ann Make Her Base Case on Computer Science

Why don’t you jump on over to In Need of a Base Case blog by Leigh Ann Sudol and answer her question about computer science education (Hat tip to my favorite Microsoft Blogger Alfred Thompson):

“So my question to you, my readers as well as to myself over the next few days is – how can I measure what my students think is important and relevant? I am considering some kind of electronic survey (so I can get a diverse sample) and I am wondering if I can somehow “narrow in” on particular topics (the way your eye doctor asks you lens1 or lens2?). Keeping in mind that I want to highlight particular aspects of computer science (see last post) I need to really think about what kinds of questions I would ask in order to get really interesting results.”

Leigh Ann is reflecting on another great article from Joanna Goode from the November 2008 issue of Communications of the ACM:  “Reprogramming College Preparatory Computer Science.” 

I just urge her to realize that sometimes students don’t know what they don’t know. I find that the reflective part AFTER a course is taught where students tell me what was best, most meaningful, both in a survey and open blog reflection often tells me the most!

I also hope that Computer Science teachers, in their quest to teach programming, don’t lose sight of the fundamental need for collaborative environments, the ability to write in hypertext, effective online citizenship, and other issues that are also NOT being taught in schools aren’t left by the wayside because it is not “programming-y” enough and indeed in the way we’ve defined Computer Science, that is being done.

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