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REINTRODUCING PROGRAMMING TO THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

Sterritt, Roy, Hanna, Paul and Campbell, Julie (2015) REINTRODUCING PROGRAMMING TO THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT. In: INTED 2015 - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, Madrid, Spain. IATED. 2 pp. [Conference contribution]

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URL: http://library.iated.org/view/STERRITT2015REI

Abstract

This extended abstract summarises a regional widening access, University initiative to reintroduce computer programming into secondary level education by providing an eLearning course. It could be argued that UK Government generated School league tables during the late 1990s and 2000s led Schools to move away from perceived “more difficult” subjects to ensure high exam performance. This resulted in many schools moving away from Computer Science at both GCSE (16 year olds) and GCE (18 year olds) to ICT based subjects. This resulted in a generation of school children not being exposed to computer programming until University.In line with much of the sector, we found this dramatically affected our retention rates as students who had studied ICT at school (MS Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Access and so forth) came onto a Computer Science degree but then struggled with programming and indeed in some cases felt they had made the wrong course choice. This resulted in our department having the worst retention rates in the University. In addition to this, over time it limited what we could realistically do in year one at University. With substantial effort being put into first year support we eventually came to the conclusion that we needed to work with the schools directly to counter the “ICT effect”.The year we have now reached 300+ school pupils through the support of many dedicated school teachers, often offering the course in out of school hours clubs.As schools are busy environments, we could never hope to achieve total school engagement. Therefore, going forward we are extending the programme by offering to all school students who apply for entry to selected University degrees while they still have the option to choose their career path and make that decision if programming is really for them.Keywords: Widening Access, Computing programming, CPD (Continuing Professional Development).

Item Type:Conference contribution (Paper)
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Computing & Engineering
Faculty of Computing & Engineering > School of Computing and Mathematics
Research Institutes and Groups:Computer Science Research Institute > Smart Environments
Computer Science Research Institute
ID Code:31118
Deposited By: Mr Roy Sterritt
Deposited On:20 Mar 2015 10:14
Last Modified:20 Mar 2015 10:14

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