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Topic: "MSPnet Academy - Challenges in the CS classroom: Perspectives from students with learning and attention disorders"

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MSPnet Academy Discussion
March 1st - March 14th, 2018

Presented by: Sarah Wille and Amy Cassata from the Computer Science Principles and Students with Learning Differences STEM+C

This is a follow up discussion to the March 1st MSPnet Academy Webinar.
(Webinar recording will be available March 2nd)

Webinar Description: Efforts to expand K-12 computer science (CS) education opportunities across the U.S. include the new AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) course, designed to attract a wide range of learners and broaden participation in the study of CS. An important step in diversifying participation in CS broadly involves understanding the range of challenges students face in the CSP course, and finding ways to address those challenges to support learning for all. Such work is especially critical for increasing participation of students with learning and attention disorders, who are underrepresented in STEM fields. This webinar describes findings from an NSF-supported study exploring ways educators and curriculum developers can make CSP more accessible for these students who learn differently. The study, carried out by education researchers at Outlier Research & Evaluation at UChicago STEM Ed, University of Chicago and expert practitioners at the Wolcott School (a college-preparatory school for students who learn differently), documented the learning experiences and challenges of twelve students enrolled in the 2016 - 2017 CSP course, using Code.org's CSP curriculum. During the presentation, researchers will share specific aspects of the course that students noted as especially challenging, and students' identified reasons for those challenges. We will close by sharing some strategies educators can use to make CSP more accessible for this student population.

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CSP and students who learn differently

posted by: Sarah Wille on 3/1/2018 3:18 pm

Hi everyone - Thanks for attending the webinar today! Several participants asked about strategies we created for the classroom as a result of our exploratory work. You can find these materials here: http://outlier.uchicago.edu/accessCSP/#project-resources

Note, we have adjustment recommendations that apply to each Code.org CSP lesson, as well as general recommendations that can be used in any high school CS class. These recommendations generally address activities that require students to engage in reading and writing activities, discussions, collaborative work, longer-term projects, and programming activities.

Amy and I look forward to continuing the discussion with everyone.