School of Education (Conference Papers)

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  • Publication
    Models for computer science teacher preparation: Developing teacher knowledge
    (Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2022-07-07) Yadav, Aman; Connolly, Cornelia; Berges, Marc; Chytas, Christos; Franklin, Crystal; Hijón-Neira, Raquel; Leftwich, Anne; Marguliex, Lauren; Macann, Victoria; Warner, Jayce R.
    Across the globe, Computer Science Education has grown tremendously over the past decade to teach primary and secondary students computing ideas and tools. From integrating computational thinking in disciplines to teaching computer science as a stand alone subject, models for teacher preparation range from one and done professional learning workshops to full certificate and licensure programs. The group will focus on providing a landscape of how CS teachers are prepared academically in various countries and make evidence-based recommendations for how teachers should be educated to develop knowledge and skill to teach computer sci- ence. The working group will also discuss how to develop these knowledge systems while promoting instruction that is equitable and centers students in the classroom. In addition, the working group will focus on new directions in computing education (such as, artificial intelligence and machine learning) and their implica- tions for teacher preparation. We will bring together a group of international computer science education scholars who have been engaged in teacher preparation. In addition to what knowledge teachers need to teach CS, we will also focus on how the field is preparing teachers to think critically about AI/ML and the role of computer science in the design of technology tools to achieve goals while mitigating potential societal harms.
  • Publication
    Computer science education in Ireland: Capacity, access and participation
    (Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2022-07-07) Kirwan, Colette; Connolly, Cornelia
    Our world is both physical and digital. Students would benefit from understanding how this digital world works, and how algorithms drive it [2]. Students would also benefit from learning computational thinking, and becoming creators and designers of computer systems and applications. These are invaluable skills; not just a means to ensure a skilled workforce [1]. However, diversity, gender balance, and equality are recognized globally as challenges in this field. Looking through a lens filtered on four components: diversity, inclusion, teacher education and professional development, this study will evaluate current Computer Science (CS) learning opportunities in the Irish primary and post-primary curriculum. It aims to identify the opportunities and key factors for the growth and development of CS in Ireland. This research is divided into three phases, influenced by the three components of the CAPE model [3] that underpins this study: Capacity for, Access to, and Participation in CS education. Data will be gathered using various means: focus groups (students, teachers, principals and policymakers), and student questionnaires. The analytic approach is mixed, it involves document, thematic and content analysis. Findings from this study will provide a detailed view of the current landscape relating to CS education in Ireland, particularly its diversity and inclusion. Recommendations on the equitable integration of Computational Thinking/Coding/CS education across the formal education system in Ireland will be provided. This will have implications for educational policy, initial teacher education, and second-level teaching practice in Ireland and beyond.
  • Publication
    Mapping the landscape: Peer review in computing education research.
    (Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2020-06-17) Petre, Marian; Sanders, Kate; McCartney, Robert; Ahmadzadeh, Marzieh; Connolly, Cornelia; Hamouda, Sally; Harrington, Brian; Lumbroso, Jérémie; Maguire, Joseph; Malmi, Lauri; McGill, Monica M.; Vahrenhold, Jan
    Peer review is a mainstay of academic publication indeed, it is the peer-review process that provides much of the publications credibility. As the number of computing education conferences and the number of submissions increase, the need for reviewers grows. This report does not attempt to set standards for reviewing; rather, as a first step toward meeting the need for well qualified reviewers, it presents an overview of the ways peer review is used in various venues, both inside computing education and, for comparison, in closely-related areas outside our field. It considers four key components of peer review in some depth: criteria, the review process, roles and responsibilities, and ethics and etiquette. To do so, it draws on relevant literature, guidance and forms associated with peer review, interviews with journal editors and conference chairs, and a limited survey of the computing education research community. In addition to providing an overview of practice, this report identifies a number of themes running through the discourse that have relevance for decision making about how best to conduct peer review for a given venue.
  • Publication
    Using real data in a quantitative methods course to enhance teachers and school leaders statistical literacy
    (International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd), 2020-06-02) Heinz, Manuela
    Engaging part-time Master of Education students in the study of quantitative research methods is challenging. The majority of them lead busy lives as teachers and/or education leaders, attend their MEd classes in the evenings and plan to engage in small-scale qualitative research for their theses. In this context, it has been hard to motivate students to engage critically and deeply with quantitative research methods. A widespread deficit view of their own competency in mathematics and computing, which are often considered essential, further compounds the problem. This paper describes the redesign of a quantitative methods module and the resulting changed experiences of students. Findings from this practitioner research study point to the positive impact of using a real national data set the Growing Up in Ireland Dataset on students engagement and appreciation of the value of quantitative research in education.
  • Publication
    Interrogating dilemmas in the primary level science classrooms in Ireland: Outreach and education
    (NUI Galway, 2012-04-16) Martins Gomes, Diogo; McCauley, Veronica
    In this day and age, science has become economically very important. The European Union (EU) and different EU countries, such as Ireland, stress that science and technology graduates are fundamental for economical growth. Consequently, it is being stated the need for further action to encourage students to pursue science degrees [1], [2]. One way in which this is being pursued is through informal science programs, henceforth denominated as science outreach programs, designed predominantly by Universities and other organizations, e.g. Industry, for primary and second level students [3], [4]. Recent reports highlight the potential that science outreach can have in improving student engagement in science and also as a direct vehicle in assisting science education in the classroom [5], [6]. This valuable partnership between schools and science outreach providers [1] [7] cannot be overemphasized, and as such forms the basis of this research. This research aims to analyze the critical reflections and proposed solutions from both classroom teachers and science outreach practitioners, in response to dilemmatic cases that they face at primary level, when developing inquiry learning activities.
  • Publication
    Retention initiatives for ICT based courses
    (IEEE, 2005-10-19) Connolly, Cornelia; Murphy, Eamonn; |~|
    Unlike our European neighbours, Ireland failed to develop its educational system in the immediate postwar years and it was only in 1967 that second-level education was provided free to all citizens. Since 1970, the educational system has been greatly expanded at second and third level to bring it into line with the EU norm. Two thirds of the generation who are retiring from the labour force today left school at 14 or less, and less than 10% of them had the benefit of third-level education. By contrast, 80% of the school leaving cohort last year completed second-level education and over 50% continued on to third-level education. However, how many of these students will complete their studies at their third level institute? An examination of completion rates among students on IT based courses in Dundalk Institute of Technology shows that a large proportion of students who enrol do not finish within the normal duration for their program, and a significant number do not complete their course at all. This is typical of universities and colleges throughout Ireland and globally. Retention rates in 1st year computing courses at Dundalk IT are typically 50–60% for Software Development streams and 60–80% for Application and Support programs [1]. The importance of student success in higher education is incontestable and improving student retention and achievement has, a particularly high priority for the majority of third level institutes of higher education. The issue of retention of students on computing courses in Ireland is particularly manifest in third level educational institutes, where a combination of falling numbers of applicants and reduction in entry points standards, have combined to significantly change the profile of incoming students. High retention rates in computing courses are worrying, especially for Ireland, who was declared once as leader in software development. The probable decline in students studying computing and graduating successfully is alarming for IT companies who have invested substantially in the Irish economy.
  • Publication
    Everyday creativity on a university campus: crafting a challenge to journey beyond the formal
    (NUI Galway, 2017-08-23) McHugh, Sally; Concannon, Fiona; Hall, Tony; |~|1267880|~|
    This paper reports on an initiative to encourage staff, students and the wider community of an Irish university to engage in open, daily creative challenges, mediated by technology. The aim was to encourage creativity as a ritual practice, and to develop digital literacy, in an open forum. We explore how the ideas and methods of DS106[1], a course in Digital Storytelling from the University of Mary Washington (UMW) and other accessible open courses on the web, were appropriated for use within a university campus. The project, known as Campus Create, became both a virtual space and daily practice, encouraging creative thinking across the campus in a fun and playful way. In this paper, we describe the approach taken towards building an open, inclusive online community of learners, with a shared intention to make creativity a more frequent habit.
  • Publication
    An straitéis litearthachta in iar-bhunscoileanna lán-Ghaeilge: Cad is ciall le litearthacht san earnáil seo agus cad iad na dúshláin?
    (An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, 2016-05-15) Mac Mahon, Brendan; Ó Grádaigh, Seán; Ní Ghuidhir, Sinéad; |~|
    ACHOIMRE Aithnítear in An Straitéis Náisiúnta chun an Litearthacht agus an Uimhearthacht a Fheabhsú i measc Leanaí agus Daoine Óga 2011-20 (An Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna, 2011:12) go bhfuil dúshláin ar leith “do theagasc agus foghlaim na litearthachta” in iar-bhunscoileanna lán-Ghaeilge. Ag tarraingt ar thaighde atá déanta ó cuireadh tús leis an Straitéis, chomh maith le taighde reatha le múinteoirí faoi oiliúint ar chlár in oideachas tosaigh múinteoirí iar-bhunscoile atá á sholáthar trí Ghaeilge, díreoidh an páipéar seo ar shaincheisteanna a bhaineann le cur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise san earnáil seo. Déanfar cur síos ar na himpleachtaí atá ann do pholasaí agus do chleachtas a ardaíonn ceisteanna do chách a bhfuil baint acu le cur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise in iar-bhunscoileanna lán-Ghaeilge. ABSTRACT The National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011-20 (Department of Education and Skills, 2011:12) recognises that there are “challenges for the teaching and learning of literacy” in Irishmedium second-level schools. Drawing on research completed since the implementation of the Strategy, as well as ongoing research with student teachers on an Irish-medium second-level teacher education programme, this paper will focus on key questions concerning the implementation of the Strategy in this sector. Implications for policy and practice will be outlined which raise questions for all involved in implementing the Strategy in Irish-medium schools.