Over the past three years, the DEERS project has worked with dozens of faculty to help refine and execute their CSEd research projects. Ahead of the 2019 Cohort, whose initial workshop will be July 16-18, 2019, we asked past participants for about what “wins” they have had from their experience with working with DEERS.

“I found the DEERS workshop this summer to be very valuable. I know that sometimes it can be difficult to measure effectiveness in tangible ways. After participating in the workshop, I applied what I learned to many aspects of my research, including the analysis and interpretation of data that I had previously collected earlier that year. After the workshop, I co-authored a paper for SIGCSE 2019 that was both accepted and won a best paper award (CS Education Research Track, #1 Best Paper, “First Things First: Providing Metacognitive Scaffolding for Interpreting Problem Prompts”). I believe my involvement in the DEERS workshop was a contributor to the success of this paper. Thank you for the opportunity to attend.”


Ray Pettit, University of Virginia

“At NKU, my attendance at the DEERS workshop has resulted in two different projects:

1. A research project, examining the impact of undergraduate TA’s in online and face-to-face classes, funded by Academic Partnerships. (Abstract below)

2. We got a NCWIT Extension Services grant and used $7K of it to bring in an Educator to teach CS faculty about inclusive teaching AND Education Research.

We implemented a quasi-experimental research study of students enrolled in INF 120, Elementary Programming, to study the impact on student retention using undergraduate teaching assistants for face-to-face, online and accelerated online. All students enrolled in INF 120 were asked to participate this academic year. Students were grouped by teaching format and the treatment is the use of undergraduate teaching assistants. Students grades and computer attitudes are being studied. Initial results show a slight improvement in success rate (earned an A,B,C) for face-to-face classes when a TA is part of the course. No difference was observed for online courses. We are continuing the study and will adjust it over the summer to include required Computer Attitude Surveys and some type of student-TA interaction requirement for the online courses.”

Maureen Doyle, Northern Kentucky University

“The interactions I’ve had as part of DEERS have been incredibly valuable. My eyes have been opened to rigorous procedures I would not have imagined previously, and I believe I’m in a much better position now to do strong computer science education research. I strongly support your work and hope you are able to continue it for years to come.

Steven Bogaerts, DePauw University

“Being a part of the 2018 DEERS cohort was a great help in both learning about empirical CS education research and in making connections with other researchers. Since the DEERS workshop I have designed and implemented a medium-scale study involving 600+ students at my institution that is being conducted over the course of two semesters. We already have preliminary data that we are analyzing for a first paper and have plans for at least two additional papers over the next year. I have also used things I learned at DEERS to analyze data I already had that resulted in a paper at IEEE Frontiers in Education 2018: “Separation of syntax and problem solving in Introductory Computer Programming”. I and my collaborators submitted an NSF proposal four months after the DEERS workshop and I am preparing an additional NSF proposal on empirical CS education. In addition to learning a lot, I have also made very valuable connections: Jeff Carver has been super helpful in both study design and grant proposal development, and both he and Sarah Heckman are written into my last grant proposal to serve on the external evaluators panel. I am also in communication with two other DEERS participants (Ray Pettit and Mohammad Azhar) regarding future collaboration. The DEERS workshop and follow-up activities have been extremely productive and worthwhile!”

John Edwards, Utah State University