) majors are in high demand and account for a large part of national computer and information technology job market applicants. Employment in this sector is projected to grow 12% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than the average of all other occupations. Published data are available on traditional non-computer science-specific hiring processes. However, the hiring process for CS majors may be different. It is critical to have up-to-date information on questions such as “what positions are in high demand for CS majors?,” “what is a typical hiring process?,” and “what do employers say they look for when hiring CS graduates?” This article discusses the analysis of a survey of 218 recruiters hiring CS graduates in the United States. We used Atlas.ti to analyze qualitative survey data and report the results on what positions are in the highest demand, the hiring process, and the resume review process. Our study revealed that a software developer was the most common job the recruiters were looking to fill. We found that the hiring process steps for CS graduates are generally aligned with traditional hiring steps, with an additional emphasis on technical and coding tests. Recruiters reported that their hiring choices were based on reviewing resume’s experience, GPA, and projects sections. The results provide insights into the hiring process, decision making, resume analysis, and some discrepancies between current undergraduate CS program outcomes and employers’ expectations.
Capstone projects usually represent the most significant academic endeavor with which students have been involved. Time management tends to be one of the hurdles. On top, University students are prone to procrastinatory behavior. Inexperience and procrastination team up for students failing to meet deadlines. Supervisors strive to help. Yet heavy workloads frequently prevent tutors from continuous involvement. This article looks into the extent to which conversational agents (a.k.a. chatbots) can tackle procrastination in single-student capstone projects. Specifically, chatbot enablers put in play include (1) alerts, (2) advice, (3) automatic rescheduling, (4) motivational messages, and (5) reference to previous capstone projects. Informed by Cognitive Behavioural Theory, these enablers are framed within the three phases involved in self-regulation misalignment: pre-actional, actional, and post-actional. To motivate this research, we first analyzed 77 capstone-project reports. We found that students’ Gantt charts (1) fail to acknowledge review meetings (70%) and milestones (100%) and (2) suffer deviations from the initial planned effort (16.28%). On these grounds, we develop GanttBot, a Telegram chatbot that is configured from the student’s Gantt diagram. GanttBot reminds students about close landmarks, it informs tutors when intervention might be required, and it learns from previous projects about common pitfalls, advising students accordingly. For evaluation purposes, course 17/18 acts as the control group (
) while course 18/19 acts as the treatment group (
students). Using “overdue days” as the proxy for procrastination, results indicate that course 17/18 accounted for an average of 19 days of delay (SD = 5), whereas these days go down to 10 for the intervention group in course 18/19 (SD = 4). GanttBot is available for public usage as a Telegram chatbot.
As the importance of non-technical skills in the software engineering industry increases, the skill sets of graduates match less and less with industry expectations. A growing body of research exists that attempts to identify this skill gap. However, only few so far explicitly compare opinions of the industry with what is currently being taught in academia. By aggregating data from three previous works, we identify the three biggest non-technical skill gaps between industry and academia for the field of software engineering:
devoting oneself to continuous learning
being creative by approaching a problem from different angles
thinking in a solution-oriented way by favoring outcome over ego
. Eight follow-up interviews were conducted to further explore how the industry perceives these skill gaps, yielding 26 sub-themes grouped into six bigger themes:
stimulating continuous learning
addressing the gap in education
skill requirements in industry
, and the
industry selection process
. With this work, we hope to inspire educators to give the necessary attention to the uncovered skills, further mitigating the gap between the industry and the academic world.
We present a psychometric evaluation of a revised version of the
Cybersecurity Concept Inventory (CCI)
, completed by 354 students from 29 colleges and universities. The CCI is a conceptual test of understanding created to enable research on instruction quality in cybersecurity education. This work extends previous expert review and small-scale pilot testing of the CCI. Results show that the CCI aligns with a curriculum many instructors expect from an introductory cybersecurity course, and that it is a valid and reliable tool for assessing what conceptual cybersecurity knowledge students learned.
In this article, we leverage ideas from the theory of coevolutionary computation to analyze interactions of students with problems. We introduce the idea of
easy or hard concepts. Our approach is different from more traditional analyses of problem difficulty such as item analysis in the sense that we consider Pareto dominance relationships within the multidimensional structure of student–problem performance data rather than average performance measures. This method allows us to uncover not just the problems on which students are struggling but also the variety of difficulties different students face. Our approach is to apply methods from the Dimension Extraction Coevolutionary Algorithm to analyze problem-solving logs of students generated when they use an online software tutoring suite for introductory computer programming called
. The results of our analysis not only have implications for how to scale up and improve adaptive tutoring software but also have the promise of contributing to the identification of common misconceptions held by students and thus, eventually, to the construction of a concept inventory for introductory programming.
Computing Education Research (CER) is critical to help the computing education community and policy makers support the increasing population of students who need to learn computing skills for future careers. For a community to systematically advance knowledge about a topic, the members must be able to understand published work thoroughly enough to perform replications, conduct meta-analyses, and build theories. There is a need to understand whether published research allows the CER community to systematically advance knowledge and build theories.
The goal of this study is
to characterize the reporting of empiricism in Computing Education Research literature by identifying whether publications include content necessary for researchers to perform replications, meta-analyses, and theory building.
We answer three research questions related to this goal: (RQ1) What percentage of papers in CER venues have some form of empirical evaluation? (RQ2) Of the papers that have empirical evaluation, what are the characteristics of the empirical evaluation? (RQ3) Of the papers that have empirical evaluation, do they follow norms (both for inclusion and for labeling of information needed for replication, meta-analysis, and, eventually, theory-building) for reporting empirical work?
We conducted a systematic literature review of the 2014 and 2015 proceedings or issues of five CER venues:
Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
International Symposium on Computing Education Research
Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
ACM Transactions on Computing Education
Computer Science Education
(CSE). We developed and applied the
CER Empiricism Assessment Rubric
to the 427 papers accepted and published at these venues over 2014 and 2015. Two people evaluated each paper using the
for characterizing the paper. An individual person applied the other rubrics to characterize the norms of reporting, as appropriate for the paper type. Any discrepancies or questions were discussed between multiple reviewers to resolve.
We found that over 80% of papers accepted across all five venues had some form of empirical evaluation. Quantitative evaluation methods were the most frequently reported. Papers most frequently reported results on interventions around pedagogical techniques, curriculum, community, or tools. There was a split in papers that had some type of comparison between an intervention and some other dataset or baseline. Most papers reported related work, following the expectations for doing so in the SIGCSE and CER community. However, many papers were lacking properly reported research objectives, goals, research questions, or hypotheses; description of participants; study design; data collection; and threats to validity. These results align with prior surveys of the CER literature.
CER authors are contributing empirical results to the literature; however, not all norms for reporting are met. We encourage authors to provide clear, labeled details about their work so readers can use the study methodologies and results for replications and meta-analyses. As our community grows, our reporting of CER should mature to help establish computing education theory to support the next generation of computing learners.
As the field of computing education grows and matures, it has become essential to unite computing education and higher education research. Educational research has highlighted that how students study is crucial to their learning progress, and study behaviors have been found to play an important role in students’ academic success. This article presents the main results of a systematic literature review intended to determine what we know about the study behaviors of computing students and the role of educational design in shaping them. A taxonomy of study behaviors was developed and used to clarify and classify the definitions of study behavior, process, strategies, habits, and tactics as well as to identify their relationship to the educational context. The literature search resulted in 107 included papers, which were analyzed according to defined criteria and variables. The review of study behavior terminology found that the same terms are used to describe substantially different study behaviors, and the lack of standard terminology makes it difficult to compare findings from different papers. Furthermore, it was more common for papers to use study behaviors to explain other aspects of students rather than exploring and understanding them. Additionally, the results revealed a tendency to focus on specific educational contexts, predominantly introductory programming courses. Although computing education as a field is well equipped to expand the knowledge about both study behaviors and their connection to the educational context, the lack of common terminology and theories limits the impact. The taxonomy of study behaviors in computing education proposed in this article can contribute to contextualizing the research in such a way that researchers and educators across institutional borders can compare and utilize results. Last, the article outlines some areas for future research and recommendations for practice.
Despite increasing demands for skilled workers within the technological domain, there is still a deficit in the number of graduates in computing fields (computer science, information technology, and computer engineering). Understanding the factors that contribute to students’ motivation and persistence is critical to helping educators, administrators, and industry professionals better focus efforts to improve academic outcomes and job placement. This article examines how experiences contribute to a student’s computing identity, which we define by their interest, recognition, sense of belonging, and competence/performance beliefs. In particular, we consider groups underrepresented in these disciplines, women and minoritized racial/ethnic groups (Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx). To delve into these relationships, a survey of more than 1,600 students in computing fields was conducted at three metropolitan public universities in Florida. Regression was used to elucidate which experiences predict computing identity and how social identification (i.e., as female, Black/African American, and/or Hispanic/Latinx) may interact with these experiences. Our results suggest that several types of experiences positively predict a student’s computing identity, such as mentoring others, having a job, or having friends in computing. Moreover, certain experiences have a different effect on computing identity for female and Hispanic/Latinx students. More specifically, receiving academic advice from teaching assistants was more positive for female students, receiving advice from industry professionals was more negative for Hispanic/Latinx students, and receiving help on classwork from students in their class was more positive for Hispanic/Latinx students. Other experiences, while having the same effect on computing identity across students, were experienced at significantly different rates by females, Black/African American students, and Hispanic/Latinx students. The findings highlight experiential ways in which computing programs can foster computing identity development, particularly for underrepresented and marginalized groups in computing.
With the number of jobs in computer occupations on the rise, there is a greater need for computer science (CS) graduates than ever. At the same time, most CS departments across the country are only seeing 25–30% of women students in their classes, meaning that we are failing to draw interest from a large portion of the population. In this work, we explore the gender gap in CS at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, a large public R1 research university, using three data sets that span thousands of students across six academic years. Specifically, we combine these data sets to study the gender gaps in four core CS courses and explore the correlation of several factors with retention and the impact of these factors on changes to the gender gap as students proceed through the CS courses toward completing the CS major. For example, we find that a significant percentage of women students taking the introductory CS1 course for majors do not intend to major in CS, which may be a contributing factor to a large increase in the gender gap immediately after CS1. This finding implies that part of the retention task is attracting these women students to further explore the major. Results from our study include both novel findings and findings that are consistent with known challenges for increasing gender diversity in CS. In both cases, we provide extensive quantitative data in support of the findings.
Student-directed projects—projects in which students have individual control over what they create and how to create it—are a promising practice for supporting the development of conceptual understanding and personal interest in K–12 computer science classrooms. In this article, we explore a central (and perhaps counterintuitive) design principle identified by a group of K–12 computer science teachers who support student-directed projects in their classrooms: in order for students to develop their own ideas and determine how to pursue them, students must have opportunities to engage with other students’ work. In this qualitative study, we investigated the instructional practices of 25 K–12 teachers using a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews to develop understandings of how they used peer work to support student-directed projects in their classrooms. Teachers described supporting their students in navigating three stages of project development: generating ideas, pursuing ideas, and presenting ideas. For each of these three stages, teachers considered multiple factors to encourage engagement with peer work in their classrooms, including the quality and completeness of shared work and the modes of interaction with the work. We discuss how this pedagogical approach offers students new relationships to their own learning, to their peers, and to their teachers and communicates important messages to students about their own competence and agency, potentially contributing to aims within computer science for broadening participation.