Survey: Educational landscapes in computer science during and after COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced an unprecedented global shift within higher education in the ways that we communicate with and educate students. This necessary paradigm shift has compelled educators to take a critical look at their teaching styles and use of technology. Computer science is a subject which, traditionally, focuses on experiential, in-person activities; COVID-19 has mandated that educators reconsider their use of student time and catalysed overnight innovations in the educational setting.

We are an international group of researchers investigating this impact in computer science, as members of an ITiCSE’21 Working Group on Post-COVID Educational Landscapes (see the WG1 abstract in the proceedings), and how it will affect computing education as we transition to a post-pandemic setting. While it is unlikely that we will ever return entirely to those pre-COVID norms, many new practices are ones that would be valuable to learn from and carry forward into our post-COVID teaching. This WG will explore what the post-COVID academic landscape might look like, and how we can use lessons learned during this educational shift to improve our practice going forward. This exploration will strive to identify practices within computer science that should continue to exist in the online space, which the WG determines have been improved through exposure to online tools and technologies. The objectives of this working group are:

  1. To work within a multinational context and create a study of both faculty and students to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on computer science education. Educational practices explored will include tools and techniques (student engagement and teaching practices) employed throughout the pandemic.
  2. To explore the results of the study to understand best practices resulting from the impact of COVID-19.
  3. To disseminate the results with the wider computer science education community.

Building on recent work in this space, this project invites all computing educators, from across all settings and levels institutions (schools, colleges, university), to complete this anonymous survey, and share it across your networks. You will be asked about the impact of COVID-19 on your academic roles and responsibilities; any changes to your workload, management and relationships; the impact on pedagogy and practice; as well as how this has impacted upon your students. All questions in the survey are optional, and there is no impact for submitting an incomplete survey:

https://forms.office.com/r/zVu0q7X3qm

(c.15 mins completion time, please share through your international professional networks; the survey will close at midnight, Sunday 18 July 2021)

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, or the ITiCSE WG1 leads: Dr. Angela Siegel (siegel@dal.ca) and Dr. Mark Zarb (m.zarb@rgu.ac.uk).

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