In this lab (typically the first, or an induction session for a CS1 course), students work either individually or in pairs to create a one-minute video CV using equipment and software of their choosing. To start, students are simply told that a Computing major can lead to a number of career options, and they are encouraged to think and discuss "cool" or desired jobs. Students are then asked to create a video where they introduce themselves, talk about their experience and think about how their course will lead them to their desired job in the field. It is important to note that the videos are not made publically available, and are kept for staff use only.
Consider allowing students to work on this in their own time with a set deadline, to start getting them used to the idea of time management and deadlines. If students choose to work together, this may encourage further student interaction and help to grow an inclusive student community. Also consider requesting this as ungraded material, to allow students to work in a stress-free environment.
See the Implementation Paper (link below) for more information about CS/IT careers as well as ideas on how to scaffold this assignment for students in your course.
From the student side, this activity is quite flexible in that it allows students to either work individually or in pairs (a vague introduction to the 'driver/navigator' concept of pair programming can be given here, where the driver is speaking to the camera, and the navigator is recording). It also helps students to begin to see the diversity and breadth of computer science and in this way helps to address misconceptions about the field of CS. Due to the format of this exercise, students are able to tackle a number of topics which their peers may not have considered: the instructor could collate the different researched topics and display it e.g. for the rest of the semester so that all may benefit.
Students also have a lot of choice in this assignment. They not only discuss who they are and their desired job, but they can choose the type of equipment (e.g. smartphones and tablets) for the recording. Otherwise, this would be a good time to get students to familiarize themselves and use equipment on offer from the institution.
From a staff perspective, this activity will allow staff to learn more about the motivations and aspirations for each student joining the course, and can also lead into a future class discussion on career choices, perhaps with guest members from industry.
Materials and Links
Computer Science Details