Highlights of ICER 2021 - Day 3

Wednesday August 18

Posted by Daphne Miedema on August 19, 2021 · 4 mins read

In line with my blogpost yesterday, I'll again share some of my highlights of ICER Day 3 (Wednesday) here.

1. The day started with another set of lightning talks. One of these tied into work that was presented yesterday. Viraj Kumar presented his work on Refute: an alternative to Explain in plain English questions. Instead of the sterile code in EipE questions (as you do not want to give the answer away), the code has meaningful names and comments. The student is asked to select the multiple choice option that correctly describes the code, and additionally should include counter examples for all incorrect answers. All these suggestions and question types (including EipE remarks from yesterday, and reverse-tracing questions) really expand my toolbox!

2. In the first paper session of the day, there was a paper on how presenting multiple conceptions (correct, incorrect, incomplete and misconceptions) can support learners to form correct mental models. The authors suggested that various techniques in the classroom already work on sharing different types of conceptions. I'm wondering whether there exist instructional designs that capture all four types, but did not ask this question (the roundtables are simply too short). Their idea is an extension beyond the teaching implications in our paper, where we suggest to share commonly held misconceptions with students and stress why they are incorrect.

3. The second paper session had a presentation from Leiden University, with the familiar face of my collaborator Fenia Aivaloglou in their video. That was fun to see. The paper itself was about implicit and explicit stereotypes, and the authors had a lot(!) of findings. The most surprising finding to me was that children who had a programmer in their social circle thought that programmers were social, whereas children who did not personally know a programmer did not think so. The discussion on whether the study was biased due to the location where the research was done (an interactive science museum for children) was interesting. Finally, seeing Felienne calmly knitting (but also heavily nodding) during the Q&A was very funny.

4. The second paper in the second session was on relating students' self-efficacy (and similar measures) to students' interest in computing. The study used the Experience Sampling Method, where students received text messages throughout the semester asking prompting them to score their CS1 experiences with regard to self-efficacy, frustration and situational interest. They found that how students' experience the course week by week has a significant effect on their interest in computing and learning outcomes.

5. All four videos that I saw yesterday were of high quality. There were videos of classrooms and experiments, handdrawn figures and annotations, a clip from a TV show and lots of humor. Cheers to the Shrimp-track authors on Wednesday!

6. In the discussion room after the second paper session, people shared that they had read my blog(s) and liked them, yay!

7. The final element of the day was the poster session. As was expected with such a group of social conference-goers, it seemed to me that most posters were well-visited. I personally visited three people to hear about their work and ask some questions. I was also able to get a little feel for how some of the labs and groups in the CSEd community worked -which was one of my goals for this week- as I'm not in such a group myself!

Now, onward to the final day!