Friday, March 21, 2008

March 21, 2008 presentation: Chris Hundhausen


While the demand for college graduates with computing skills continues to rise, such skills no longer equate to mere programming skills. Modern day computing jobs demand design, communication, and collaborative work skills as well. Since traditional instructional methods in computing education tend to focus on programming skills, we believe that a fundamental rethinking of computing education is in order. We are exploring a new “studio-based” pedagogy that actively engages undergraduate students in collaborative, design-oriented learning. Adapted from architectural education, the studio-based instructional model emphasizes learning activities in which students (a) construct personalized solutions to assigned computing problems, and (b) present solutions to their instructors and peers for feedback and discussion within the context of “design crits.” We describe and motivate the studio-based approach, review previous efforts to apply it to computer science education, and propose an agenda for multi-institutional research into the design and impact of studio-based instructional models. We invite educators to participate in a community of research and practice to advance studio-based learning in computing education.

Christopher Hundhausen is founder and director of the Visualization and User Programming Lab at WSU. His research focuses on the general area of human-computer interaction—the "human side" of computer science concerned with better understanding how humans interact with technology, and ultimately with designing effective interactive artifacts for humans. Within this general area, Dr. Hundhausen has established himself as an international leader in the field of algorithm visualization, which explores technology and pedagogical approaches that enhance human understanding of computer algorithms.

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