Inaugural computing education conference hosted at Kent

The School of Computing hosted the first UK and Ireland computing education conference (UKICER) on 5 and 6 September. The intention is for this to become the first of a series of annual conferences to create a community of computing education research within the two countries.

Researchers were invited to submit research papers on the topic of computing education. Themes of interest included:

  • Computing education pedagogy
  • Assessing and providing feedback on computing assignments
  • Issues of inclusivity and diversity
  • Tools to aid computing education
  • Computing education issues particularly relevant to a British and/or Irish context

The Conference chair Janet Carter said: ‘We had a 48% acceptance rate of research papers, which was pleasing for a first conference and all accepted papers have been published in the ACM digital library. The atmosphere was relaxed and supportive with presenters talking on a range of themes including: transitions to higher education; scaffolding; assessment; environments and context. We learnt about the importance of semantic waves of lesson structures for unplugged computing which included audience participation, as well as incoming students pre-existing experiences of group work, and false positive detection rates in automated plagiarism detection.’

The final afternoon of the conference was devoted to workshops on hybrid java programming, building research collaborations and building a toolkit to foster women’s sense of belonging within the field.

The University also hosted the ACM-W Inspire 2019 workshop on the afternoon of the 6 September. ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field. The theme of the INSPIRE conference was “Rising Together” with the programme including exciting talks on supporting, mentoring and advocating women to achieve their full potential in both tech industry and academia.