Our public workshop at SIGCSE 2018 (Workshop #106) will take place Wednesday, February 21, at 7:00 PM in Room 318.


One of the most important, and difficult, aspects of starting an education research project is identifying an interesting, answerable, repeatable, measurable, and appropriately scoped research question. The lack of a valid research question reduces the potential impact of the work and could result in wasted effort. The goal of this workshop is to help educational researchers get off on the right foot by defining such a research question. This workshop is part of the larger Designing Empirical Education Research Studies (DEERS) project, which consists of an ongoing series of workshops in which researcher cohorts work with experienced empirical researchers to design, implement, evaluate, and publish empirical work in computer science education. In addition to instruction on the various aspects of good research questions, DEERS alumni will join us to mentor attendees in development of their own research questions in small group breakout sessions. At the end of the workshop, attendees will leave with a valid research question that can then be the start for designing a research study. Attendees will also receive information on how to apply to attend the full summer workshop, where they can fully flesh out the empirical study design, and join a DEERS research cohort.


7:00 – 7:30 Creating an answerable and measurable research question (Slides)

7:30 – 7:40 Overview of participants interests

7:40 – 8:00 Refine initial research questions (work in pairs or small groups)

8:00 – 8:20 Share research questions and get feedback (small groups pair up)

8:20 – 8:40 Improve research questions based on feedback

8:40 – 8:50 Break

8:50 – 9:30 Identify how research questions could be answered in a classroom setting

9:30 – 10:00 Debrief (large group)