Special presentation: Barbara Ericson (Georgia Tech)


Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:15pm to 2:30pm


252 Erickson Hall

Title: Improving Computing Education Through Interactive Ebooks and Outreach

Abstract: We are facing increasing demand for computer science education at both the K-12 and university levels.  Online learning and assessment have the potential to help meet that demand.  One form of online learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), can scale to thousands of students, but they have low completion rates, low diversity, and usually rely on passive learning from video lectures.  Our research group at Georgia Tech has been creating free interactive ebooks based on principles from educational psychology, such as worked examples with interleaved practice problems and multiple modalities. Thousands of students and hundreds of teachers are using these ebooks to learn introductory computing concepts.  In this talk I will explain the theory behind our approach and the results from our research on the use of the ebooks.  I will highlight one novel type of practice problem in the ebooks, Parsons problems, which may make learning more efficient.  Parsons problems can also be used for summative assessment to reduce marking time and grading variability. 

About the Speaker: Barbara Ericson is a senior research scientist who has been trying to improve computing education since 2004.  She has tried to increase the quantity and quality of secondary computing teachers and the quantity and diversity of computing students.  She and her husband, Dr. Mark Guzdial, were the winners of the 2010 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Computing Educator Award.  She was also the winner of the Richard A Newton award in 2012. She is a co-author of four books on Media Computation.