ICER 2008

Fourth International Computing Education Research Workshop (ICER 2008)
Sydney, Australia; Sat/Sun 6/7 September 2008

Note: This is not the original web site for ICER 2008. It’s a copy of the more important pages. The layout has been changed


  • 7 September 2008: ICER 2008 is over. The ship of fools has departed on its merry way.
  • 5 September 2008: the doctoral consortium was a great success.
  • 3 September 2008: here is a pdf of the workshop program(me).
  • 31 August 2008: here is a pdf (388Kb) of directions to the conference venue and nearby hotels.
  • 31 August 2008: here is a pdf (831kb) of directions to the doctoral consortium.
  • 14 August 2008: registrations are now open. See Registrations link at left.
  • 12 August 2008: ICER2008 has negotiated a discount accommodation rate at Citigate Central. See the Venue and accommodation link at the left.
  • 7 August 2008: pre-proceedings copies of the accepted papers are now available. See the Accepted papers link at the left.
  • 3 August 2008: those expecting to attend are now being kept informed of developments by a series of email bulletins. If you’re expecting to attend, but have not received the first of these bulletins, please inform Raymond Lister,
  • 3 August 2008: registration costs have been announced – see link at left. The registration website will go live soon.
  • 2 August 2008: non-Australian citizens travelling to Australia need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). If you use a travel agent to book your plane ticket, they can/will do this for you, often for no additional charge. If you buy a plane ticket over the web, you may need to do this yourself. You can do this quickly and easily on the web by going to Doing so through that government web site will cost $Aus20, which is charged to your credit card. Some private web sites can also do the same, but for a higher fee. Normal service for an ETA takes less than 12 hours. Note that there may be some countries for which Australia requires a full visa, and not just an ETA. Check with your local Australian consulate.
  • 2 July 2008: list of accepted papers posted. See link at left.
  • 20 Jun 2008: decisions made, acceptance and rejection emails sent.
  • 13 Jun 2008: the NSF travel grant details are now available. See link at left.
  • 9 Jun 2008: the keynote speaker has been announced. See link at left.
  • 9 Jun 2008: the chairs are on track to notify authors by 20 June.
  • 7 May 2008: submissions have now closed, and the process of allocating reviewers to papers has begun.
  • 29 Apr 2008: the NSF will offer 10 $2K travel grants to US authors, with a priority system giving precedence, for example, to authors who have never attended ICER before. Application forms should appear here soon.
  • 27 Apr 2008: submission deadline extended to 5 May, with the possibility of a further week’s extension to 12 May.
  • 27 Apr 2008: application deadline for doctoral consortium is 5 May.
  • 27 Apr 2008: preliminary accommodation information posted.
  • 3 Mar 2008: the NSF will support travel to ICER 2008 by US authors. Details will appear on this website when they have been clarified.
  • 17 Feb 2008: this website goes live.
  • 29 Jan 2008: call for papers issued.

General introduction

Computing education, as a research discipline, is the study of how people come to understand computational processes and devices, and of how to improve that understanding. As computation becomes ubiquitous in our world, understanding of computing in order to design, structure, maintain, and utilize these technologies becomes increasingly important – both for the technology professional and for the technologically literate citizen. The research study of how the understanding of computation develops, and of how to improve that understanding, is critically important for the technology-dependent societies in which we live.

Learning: Computing education is naturally concerned with how students make sense of computational processes and devices in formal education, including primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions. Computing education also goes beyond formal education. What do adults understand about computation, and how do they come to that understanding? What do children understand about computation given their limited conceptions of time, process, and agency, and how does that affect their later formal learning about computation?

Instruction: Learning may be enhanced or impeded by instruction. Educators bring instructional methods, formal or informal theories, and values to specific learning environments and situations. As researchers we explore the educator’s role in the learning process – whether that educator is a teacher, near-peer, remote resource or the computer itself.

Computing Education Research employs methodologies from many fields, including psychology, education, anthropology and statistics. As a consequence, research is frequently characterized by a diversity of methodological approaches; these may be applied directly, or may be combined and modified to suit the particular cross-disciplinary questions that we ask.