North Carolina State University was recently cited as the top institution worldwide for Computer Science Education research based on publication data collected between 2015-2020 and presented at the 2021 SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education. This ranking was based on factors including publications by institution, participation in doctoral consortia, and participation as contributors to Computer Science Education (CSEd).
Computer science education research is not the act of teaching, nor is it educational technology research. As defined by Dr. Amy Ko from the University of Washington, Seattle, CSEd research is “the study of how people learn and teach computing, broadly construed.” This includes inventing new ways of learning and teaching computer science.
“CSEd is important because access to high-quality computer science education is an issue of equity. Since practically all work is on computers, and so many decisions are being made by algorithms, every person has a need to understand how computers work, how algorithms and computer programs are made,” said Tiffany Barnes, professor and faculty member of the Center for Educational Informatics.
Sarah Heckman, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs, recognizes the importance of CSEd research. “Research in computing education is needed to better understand how to educate computer scientists and software engineers to maintain, create, and improve the software systems we use today and need for tomorrow while protecting the security and privacy of the users,” said Heckman. She adds that everyone needs some education in computing to understand how their data might be used and to establish digital literacy to work and thrive in our modern world.