iSchool Research Symposium: Benjamin Xie and Jean Salac
Please join us in 070 Bloedel Hall or via Zoom: https://washington.zoom.us/j/9338778450
Benjamin Xie: "Roles of Student Feedback for Equity in Large Computing Courses"
As computing courses become larger, students of minoritized groups continue to disproportionately face challenges that hinder their academic and professional success (e.g. implicit bias, microaggressions, lack of resources, assumptions of preparatory privilege). This can impact career aspirations and a sense of belonging in computing communities. Instructors have the power to make immediate changes to support more equitable learning, but they are often unaware of students’ challenges. To help both instructors and students understand the inequities in their classes, Benjamin worked with researchers at the UW Information School and Allen School to develop StudentAmp, an interactive system that uses student feedback and self-reported demographic information (e.g. gender, ethnicity, disability, educational background) to show challenges and how they affect students differently. To help instructors make sense of feedback, StudentAmp ranks challenges by student-perceived disruptiveness. Benjamin and his team conducted formative evaluations with five large college computing courses (150 - 750 students) being taught remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that students shared challenges beyond the scope of the course, perceived sharing information about who they were as useful but potentially dangerous, and that teaching teams were able to use this information to consider the positionality of students sharing challenges. In this talk, Benjamin will relate these findings to a central design tension of supporting equity by sharing contextualized information about students while also ensuring their privacy and well-being.
Jean Salac: "Moving from Equity to Justice in Computing Instruction for Youth"
In this talk, Jean will present her work in identifying inequities in elementary computing instruction and in developing a learning strategy, TIPP&SEE, to address these inequities. Students using TIPP&SEE demonstrated improved understanding of computing concepts and better code quality in assignments. Further, the gaps between students with and without academic challenges narrowed when using the TIPP&SEE strategy. She will also discuss next steps for her work, transitioning from improving how we teach computing to question what we are teaching, in order to foster in youth a critical understanding of computing for a more just future.