CSinc have a broad range of outreach programmes that fall into three categories:
CSinc currently runs a large-scale computer science (CS) national outreach programme. In just over two years the team have run CS outreach camps with ~ 9,500 students. Developing pedagogical and methodological approaches for delivering such programs. The overall goal of this outreach is positively changing student’s perceptions of CS, and to address stereotypes associated with the subject. In addition, the outreach program specializes in targeted outreach for upper secondary level, for the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject.
More recently, CSinc have designed and developed a fully inclusive learning environment coined CSLINC. CSLINC is an online student learning environment for Computer Science consisting of several modules built upon international best practices with varying collaborators which are tailored to Irish second-level students. This will also include automated assessment where students, on successful completion, will receive certification.
CSLINC currently offers 7 modules. Each module consists of lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, videos, class/home work and solutions for teachers, providing a full suite of tools to deliver successful TY Computer Science courses, all available from an online Environment, where CSinc will set up the class and enrol all of your students. There are currently 9100 students, 230 teachers and over 100 schools using CSLINC.
With the Junior Cycle short course in coding and the Leaving Certificate computer science now available for all schools to participate, CSinc is developing and delivering formal CS professional development. As these subjects are new, developing pedagogical/ methodological approaches and activities is a core part of our research and programme development.
We lead several projects in house, all in the name of increasing confidence in students ability in CS. Some of the interventions are:
- Yearly hackathons in conjunction with Tallaght Hospital.
- All years of students, to build prototypes for real word applications, such as medicine dispensers for patients with Alzheimer's, patient tracking in a confused patient leaves the room, predicting waiting time in the ED.
- Student Drop-in support
- With first-year programming being perceived by students as hard, CSINC members are in the process of setting up a drop in service for first-year student to receive free tutoring in a peer-to-peer level with the hopes that it will increase student confidence.
- Addressing anxiety in Computer Science
- The mental health of third level students is potentially at an all-time low. CSINC members are investigating the causes of this and attempting to improve the mental health of CS students.
- Building student self-efficacy
- The use of growth Mindset interventions.
- The use of block based programming to build self-efficacy around threshold concepts.