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[publication] „Computer Science for all“: Concepts to engage teenagers and non-CS students in technology #research #tugraz

Our conference contribution to this year 13th European Conference on Games Based Learning about „„Computer Science for all“: Concepts to engage teenagers and non-CS students in technology“ is now online available – enjoy reading 🙂


Knowledge in Computer Science (CS) is essential, and companies have increased their demands for CS professionals. Despite this, many jobs remain unfilled. Furthermore, employees with computational thinking (CT) skills are required, even if they are not actual technicians. Moreover, the gender disparity in technology related fields is a serious problem. Even if companies want to hire women in technology, the number of women who enter these fields is remarkably low. In high schools, most teenagers acquire only low-level skills in CS. Thus, they may never understand the fundamental concepts of CS, have unrealistic expectations or preconceptions, and are influenced by stereotype-based expectations. Consequently, many teenagers exclude computing as a career path. In this research study, we present two promising concepts to overcome these challenges. First, we consider alternative paths to enter the field of CS. In 2018, a voluntary lecture „Design your own app“ at the University of Graz for students of all degree programs was introduced. In total, 202 students participated. We applied a Game Development-Based Learning (GDBL) approach with the visual coding tool Pocket Code, a mobile app developed at Graz University of Technology. The students were supposed to create simple games directly on smartphones. The course received positive evaluations and led to our second concept; In January 2019, we started to design a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) with the title „Get FIT in Computer Science“. First, this course can be used to encourage young women who have little to no previous knowledge in CS. Second, it should help all teenagers to get a more realistic picture of CS to its basic concepts. Third, teachers can use the course materials to lead high school classes (Open Educational Resources). Finally, the MOOC can be accessed by everyone interested in this topic.

[Article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Spieler, B., Grandl, M., Ebner, M., Slany, W. (2019) „Computer Science for all“: Concepts to engage teenagers and non-CS students in technology. In: Conference Proceedings ECGBL 2019, Odense, Denmark

[video] Bake IT #tel19

Im Rahmen des Seminars zu Technology Enhanced Learning war die Übungsaufgabe der Studierenden ein Lernvideo zu erstellen – hier ist das Letzte von insgesamt 5 mit dem Thema „Bake IT“

Center for Research in Computer Science on Teaching and Learning

Due to our strong research in technology enhanced learning and beyond at Graz University of Technology the „Center for Research in Computer Science on Teaching and Learning (CCSTL)“ has been founded. Here all activities in the area of computer science in relation to teaching and learning are listed as well as all groups working on it.
My contribution is mainly to the „e-Learning Software Development Group“ which follows the idea to develop software, bring it to the learner, gather experiences and redevelop according to their needs.

The group concentrates its research activity on

  • Novel architectural and technological solutions for e-Learning such as Ajax, Reverse Ajax, Cloud Computing, Web Services, Content Delivery, WEB API and similar.
  • Educational content authoring, structuring and reusing such as eBooks, Semantic & Logical Hypermedia Composites, SCORM, etc.
  • New eLearning scenarios such as Life Long Learning, MOOCs and training on the working place.