CSforALL's Response to COVID-19

Adrienne Decker

Researcher
My work in computing education seeks to blend the worlds of the science and the arts to create an inclusive environment to educate anyone interested in the study of computing. I am interested in four main areas: programming education, classroom environment, assessment, and issues of broadening participation through outreach. In the introductory space (CS1 & CS2) I have been interested in using motivating examples including graphics and games to engage students in the discipline as well as using proven educational techniques and theories in the introductory classroom. I am also interested in finding out what we need to do beyond the first year to ensure that the intermediate student is supported and persists in the discipline, which is of particular concern for underrepresented groups. Within the classroom, the atmosphere is critically important. I am interested in how to make an engaging, welcoming, and interactive classroom for students at all levels. I have looked at these issues in the introductory space as well as through the senior-level and undergraduate level. I am particularly interested in developing communication skills and other such “soft skills” for highly-technical computing students. In the area of assessment, I have worked on assessments of educational games as well as assessment in introductory courses. I have been actively involved in the AP Computer Science A community, including both service as a reader and question leader as well as on the development committee for the AP CSA exam. I am also deeply invested in the efforts around broadening participation and outreach. My efforts in this area have focused on determining long-term effectiveness of outreach efforts in computing. My main area of scholarship is media-centric computing education. I am interested in how we teach students to learn to program, how we can use domains (specifically media) to enrich the content of courses and curricula as well as using those domains as a tool for broadening participation. I am interested in assessment, particularly of introductory programming skills and knowledge. And lastly, I am interested in issues of diversity in computing and gaming and how effective the efforts we have been using for outreach for broadening participation have been.

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