Engagement is the Key to Retaining Students

All materials accepted to the EngageCSEdu collection must make clear use of evidence-based engagement practices, particularly those shown to help broaden participation in computing. Below are resources that the collections’ editors accept as “engagement practices.” These are also great resources for all instructors to use to improve their teaching and to implement effective practices around diversity and inclusion. If a submission does not make use of any of the practices listed below, it is up to the author to make the case to the editors that there is sufficient evidence to consider the pedagogical or curricular approach an “engagement practice.”

The NCWIT Engagement Practices Framework

This framework is a compilation of pedagogical and curricular practices that research suggests help engage all students, particularly those who may be at risk of leaving the field due to stereotypes about who does computing. They are organized around three engagement principles:

  • Make It Matter
  • Build Student Confidence & Professional Identity
  • Grow an Inclusive Student Community

Inclusive Teaching & Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

A large body of research and practices exist around inclusive teaching, including Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. Here are some particularly helpful resources:

Universal Design for Learning

As CAST--the leading organization promoting Universal Design for Learning--defines it, “Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.”

Other information on UDL specific to computer science education:

  • Burgstahler, Sheryl (2011). Universal Design: Implications for Computing Education. ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 11(3).
  • Israel, M., Lash, T. A., & Jeong, G. (2017). Utilizing the Universal Design for Learning Framework in K-12 Computer Science Education. Project TACTIC: Teaching All Computational Thinking through Inclusion and Collaboration.
  • Israel, M., Wherfel, Q. & Shehab, S. (n.d.) Planning Computing Instruction through the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework