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Eastern region ccsc east

25th Annual Eastern Conference 2009
October 30 and 31, 2009   Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Treats and Some Tricks in Computer Science Education

Workshop Descriptions

Workshops provide an in-depth review of a topic of interest, designed to be immediately useful in the classroom. The following workshops are offered at CCSCE 2009:


Friday Morning Workshops

Workshops 1, 2, and 6 will be held Friday morning before the conference from 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon.

Workshop 1: Computer Science Unplugged

Dr. Thomas Cortina, Carnegie Mellon University

Computer Science Unplugged is a book containing a set of fun activities that teachers from K-12 (and beyond) can use to illustrate computer science principles without using a computer. This workshop will allow participants to learn how to run a number of the activities with additional discussion on variations that can be used and issues to be aware of when these are presented to students. Audience participation will be a major focus of this workshop. After a number of activities are demonstrated and discussed, participants will work together to create a new activity suitable for the Unplugged theme.


Workshop 2: Puzzle-Based Learning

Raja Sooriamurthi, Carnegie Mellon University, Nickolas Falkner, University of Adelaide, Zbigniew Michalewicz, University of Adelaide

Puzzle-based learning (PBL) is a new and emerging model of teaching critical thinking and problem solving. In this interactive workshop we will examine a range of puzzles, brainteasers, and games. What general problem solving strategies can we learn from the way we solve these examples? A learning goal of PBL is to distill domain independent transferable heuristics for tackling problems. In the past year we have created and taught new courses on PBL in three countries under different academic settings. In this hands-on workshop we will introduce PBL and discuss our goals and experience.


Workshop 6: Teaching a Female Friendly RPRCC (Real Projects for Real Clients Course) Introduction to Software Development at the Middle School, High School or Freshman College Level

David Klappholz, Stevens Institute of Technology

Middle/high-school teacher attendees will learn, hands-on, how to teach a Real Projects for Real Clients Course (RPRCC) in which students work in teams to perform the interpersonal-interaction-intensive activities involved in doing the pre-programming work of designing/prototyping software to provide services to or solve problems for socially relevant clients. They will also learn how to recruit project clients, how to manage clients' expectations, and how to have the software implemented in later courses at their institutions, or by college-level teams involved in the RPRCC Initiative. For more information about the attractiveness of RPRCCs to girls and young women, see The PRCC Initiative Site.


Saturday Afternoon Workshops

Workshops 3, 4, and 5 will be held Saturday afternoon after the conference from 2:45 PM until 5:45 PM.

Workshop 3: Cooperative Learning for CS1 and Beyond: Making It Work for You

Leland Beck, San Diego State University, Alexander Chizhik, San Diego State University

Cooperative learning is a well-known instructional strategy with many significant benefits for students. This workshop will help you make the most effective use of cooperative learning in your courses. We will focus on course planning, classroom management, and other concerns brought up by participants, combining a theoretical framework with actual experiences from the classroom. The cooperative learning principles and workshop activities will be applicable throughout the curriculum. Workshop participants will also receive a complete set of class- tested cooperative learning activities that have raised test scores in CS1 by 25% at our institution. No prior experience with cooperative learning is necessary.


Workshop 4: The Animated Database Courseware (ADbC)

Mario Guimaraes and Meg Murray, Kennesaw State University

This workshop demonstrates a set of software animations, called Animated Database Courseware (ADbC), which are designed to support the teaching of database concepts. Areas covered include database design, SQL, transactions and database security. ADbC is freely available from the ADbC site. The animations are not tailored to any specific product or textbook nor are they intended to substitute for them. Instead, they provide a means to facilitate student learning resulting in an opportunity to include more depth or breadth to the concepts covered in a database course. The workshop will explore different ways the software may be incorporated into the classroom environment.


Workshop 5: Turning a 14 Week Non-Major Class into a 7 Week Fast Forward Class

Barbara Zimmerman, Villanova University

Challenges are faced when a full semester undergraduate non-CS major course is taught as a 7 week fast forward course. The format was downsized to one weekly 2.5 hour night session. Changing from traditional undergraduate students to adult students meant an additional goal of keeping the students interested in the materials after they have worked a full day. What worked or did not and what lessons were drawn are to be discussed. Instructors who teach or will teach adults will gain from attending this workshop. Together we will explore the challenges and solutions of condensing a course and teaching the adult learner.



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Last Modified: 08 July 2009. 13:40