Exploring the appeal of socially relevant computing: Are students interested in socially relevant problems?

Cyndi Rader, Doug Hakkarinen, Barbara M. Moskal, Keith Hellman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior research indicates that today's students, especially women, are attracted to careers in which they recognize the direct benefit of the field for serving societal needs. Traditional college level computer science courses rarely illustrate the potential benefits of computer science to the broader community. This paper describes a curricula development effort designed to embed humanitarian projects into undergraduate computer science courses. The impact of this program was measured through student self-report instruments. Through this investigation, it was found that students generally preferred projects that they perceived as "fun" over the projects that were social in nature. This may, in part, be due to the fact that it was difficult to reduce socially relevant problems to a level that beginning students could easily comprehend. This made it difficult to capitalize on the appeal of socially relevant problems in the early computer science courses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGCSE'11 - Proceedings of the 42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Pages423-428
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Event42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2011 - Dallas, TX, United States
Duration: Mar 9 2011Mar 12 2011

Publication series

NameSIGCSE'11 - Proceedings of the 42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education

Conference

Conference42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2011
CountryUnited States
CityDallas, TX
Period03/9/1103/12/11

Keywords

  • Broadening participation
  • Computer science education
  • Gender
  • Socially relevant computing
  • Student projects

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    Rader, C., Hakkarinen, D., Moskal, B. M., & Hellman, K. (2011). Exploring the appeal of socially relevant computing: Are students interested in socially relevant problems? In SIGCSE'11 - Proceedings of the 42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 423-428). (SIGCSE'11 - Proceedings of the 42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education). https://doi.org/10.1145/1953163.1953288