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Department of Information Technology

Computing education research seminars at Vi3

The Vi3 computing education research seminar series is hosted by UpCERG, Uppsala Computing Education Research Group and mostly open to everybody interested. Join us online at or IRL (room 104170).

Each Thursday at 13:15-14:45, seminars on computing education research related topics are given by internal and external speakers or open discussions among those attending. See schedule below.

The seminars are announced at the weekly internal Vi3 information meeting, and also on the Dept. of IT's newsletter läsit

Note that extra seminars may occasionally be held at other times than mentioned above. Please contact Mats Daniels if you have questions about the seminar series.

Past seminars can be found 2022 and Spring 2023


Next Seminar

Date Time Title Speaker
2023-10-05 13:15-14:45 Two Sisters - The Interplay Between Mathematics and Computer Science
Abstract: Large parts of computer science are firmly rooted in mathematics, both conceptually and historically. The overlap between the two fields is so large that many struggle to pinpoint the effective differences. How is it then that mathematical pre-knowledge may turn out to be hindrance to students learning to program? Moreover, given the similarities between mathematics and computer science, why should we introduce computing into school curricula in the first place? Let us take a closer look at what sets the two sisterly fields apart.
Tobias Kohn, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

Upcoming Seminars

Date Time Title Speaker
2023-10-12 13:15-14:45 ITiCSE WG report
Maria Kallia and Quintin Cutts
2023-10-19 13:15-14:45 TBD
Abstract: ASEE/IEEE FIE in Texas
2023-10-26 13:15-14:45 TBD
Mats Daniels
2023-11-02 13:15-14:45 TBD
2023-11-09 13:15-14:45 The Participation Problem: The Role of Capital in Computing Education
Abstract: Computing education in Western countries has traditionally suffered from low levels of participation and diversity among its student population. In order to broaden participation in the field, we need to understand why students engage with the subject, and what they aspire to get out of their education. One way of doing so is through the Bourdieusian concept of capital (e.g. social, economic, cultural), which relates to an individual's position in the social stratification structure, and helps to explain their patterns of social behaviours. During this work-in-progress research seminar, I will share preliminary findings from a computing capital survey which I have developed and distributed among students at different Swedish universities. Among other things, it will become clearer which factors are predictive of student participation in computing education, and I will discuss how we can use such findings for broadening participation in the field.
Thom Kunkeler
2023-11-16 13:15-14:45 TBD
2023-11-23 13:15-14:45 Understanding how Large Language Models work can inform their use in Physics Education
Abstract: We aim to fulfill three functions: (1) to provide an introduction for the physics education community to the mechanics of large language models (LLMs), (2) to present a series of qualitative investigations exemplifying how prompt-engineering techniques can impact LLMs performance on conceptual physics tasks and (3) to discuss potential implications of these newly acquired understandings for physics teaching and learning. We first give a basic account of how LLMs work and illustrate important features of their functioning with examples from physics. Equipped with this knowledge, we then point out some challenges with generating useful output with a state-of-the-art LLM-based chatbot (ChatGPT-4) in the context of introductory physics, giving special attention to conceptual questions and problems. Second, we examine existing literature on prompt engineering and demonstrate through a set of illustrative examples how some prompt-engineering approaches can be employed to improve ChatGPT's output when dealing with conceptual physics problems. In the final part of the paper, we consider how insights into LLMs functioning can inform possible uses in teaching and learning physics.
Giulia Polverini, PER, Uppsala University
2023-11-30 13:15-14:45 Urban Eriksson and PER
Abstract: Urban will present himself and his group. The idea is to discuss potentials for collaboration.
Urban Eriksson, PER
2023-12-07 13:15-14:45 TBD
Mats Daniels
2023-12-14 15:15-17:00 TBD
Mats Daniels
2023-12-21 13:15-14:45 TBD
Mats Daniels

Past seminars in the Fall 2023

Date Time Title Speaker
2023-08-24 13:15-14:45 Planning the fall and Updates Mats Daniels
2023-08-31 13:15-14:45 Reflections from a summer school
Johan Snider
2023-09-07 13:15-14:45 Computing Students' Understanding of Dispositions: A Qualitative Study
Abstract: Dispositions, along with skills and knowledge, form the three components of competency-based education. Moreover, studies have shown dispositions to be necessary for a successful career. However, unlike evidence-based teaching and learning approaches for knowledge acquisition and skill development, few studies focus on translating dispositions into observable behavioral patterns. An operationalization of dispositions, however, is crucial for students to understand and achieve respective learning outcomes in computing courses. This paper describes a multi-institutional study investigating students' understanding of dispositions in terms of their behaviors while completing coursework. Students in six computing courses at four different institutions filled out a survey describing an instance of applying each of the five surveyed dispositions (adaptable, collaborative, persistent, responsible, and self-directed) in the courses' assignments. The authors evaluated data by using Mayring's qualitative content analysis. The result was a coding scheme with categories summarizing students' concepts of dispositions and how they see themselves applying dispositions in the context of computing. These results are a first step in understanding dispositions in computing education and how they manifest in student behavior. This research has implications for educators developing new pedagogical approaches to promote and facilitate dispositions. Moreover, the operationalized behaviors constitute a starting point for new assessment strategies of dispositions.
Natalie Kiesler, Leibniz-Institut for Bildungsforschung und Bildungsinformation on Zoom
2023-09-14 13:15-14:45 Discussing JSRA
Anna Eckerdal
2023-09-21 13:15-14:45 Pedagogical framework for cultivating children's agency and creative abilities in the age of AI
Abstract: The integration of Machine Learning (ML) topics into school curricula is a relatively new but crucial challenge faced by education systems worldwide. Yet, there is a clear lack of curriculum materials, tools, and practices that support teachers in incorporating ML topics into school education. This talk introduces the theoretical foundations, pedagogical perspectives, and empirical insights for implementing ML learning projects in 12 classrooms in Finland. We provide a comprehensive description of the project, where 4th and 7th graders (N=213) were exploring the basics of ML by designing and creating their own ML-based applications. Finally, this talk presents a framework for distributed scaffolding, aimed to cultivate children's agency, understanding, creative abilities and ethical considerations in the age of ML.
Juho Kahila and Henriikka Vartiainen, University of Eastern Finland
2023-09-28 13:15-14:45 Teaching and examination in the shadow of ChatBots
Abstract: The rapid development of chatbots has taken many with surprise, not least teachers on all levels. In this presentation I will problematize the teaching and examination at the academic level in the new situation, where chatbots are making a rapid entry into the universities. One important question is whether the usage is to compare to cheating? My position in the paper that has been accepted to the FIE 2023 conference is that it will be necessary to change the way we both teach and examine courses in such a way that the students can use these chatbots in a constructive way, rather than use them for cheating. If the courses are redesigned in the right way, cheating with these bots will not be an issue any more. In this presentation I suggest one such approach to course redesign that has been used in three courses that I am currently teaching.
Lars Oestreicher, HMI, Uppsala University
Updated  2023-10-02 14:10:43 by Mats Daniels.