Come see our presentation on the current state of empirical research in CS education at our paper session Thursday at 2:35PM in room L5-L6!

A (Updated) Review of Empiricism at the SIGCSE Technical Symposium

Ahmed Al-Zubidy, Jeffrey C. Carver, Sarah Heckman, and Mark Sherriff

The computer science education (CSEd) research community consists of a large group of passionate CS educators who often contribute to other disciplines of CS research.  There has been a trend in other disciplines toward more rigorous and empirical evaluation of various hypotheses.  Prior investigations of the then-current state of CSEd research showed a distinct lack of rigor in the top research publication venues, with most papers falling in the general category of experience reports.  In this paper, we present our examination of the two most recent proceedings of the SIGCSE Technical Symposium, providing a snapshot of the current state of empiricism at the largest CSEd venue.  Our goal to categorize the current state of empiricism in the SIGCSE Technical Symposium and identify where the community might benefit from increased empiricism when conducting CSEd research.  We found an increase in empirical validation of CSEd research to over 70%; however, our findings suggest that current CSEd research minimizes replication precluding meta-analysis and theory building.