Co-located workshops


Barry L Kurtz
Appalachian State University
Ahmad Esmaili
Stony Brook University

Logical microlabs are 5-10 minute activities where students solve conceptual problems by moving icons on a screen, such as building a binary tree given the preorder and inorder traversals. In a code magnet microlab students are asked to construct a method, function or rule to complete a specific task. The programming languages Java, C/C++, Python and Prolog are supported. In a code magnet lab students are presented with a sequence of possible code magnets that can be arranged using drag-and-drop to create the desired method. Magnets for control statements can nest other magnets, including nested control statements. Students may have to choose between alternative magnets, such as a < or <= comparison. The completed method is compiled and subject to unit testing. Test results guide students towards a correct solution; multiple submissions are allowed. Since there is no keyboard entry when using microlabs, the labs can be completed using laptops, desktops, tablets and other mobile devices. This workshop has been developed with support from three NSF grants. There are two two-hour sessions: (1) experience using existing logical and code magnet microlabs and (2) learn to build your own code magnet lab. There is an honorarium of $200 for attending the first session only and $300 for attending both sessions. Significant stipends averaging about $1000 will be available for after-workshop activities where the participant uses multiple microlabs for his/her own courses in the 2015-2016 academic year. All participants will need a laptop to complete lab activities. Visit to learn more and to apply; we have space for 20 participants. bottomBanner

Leveraging Programming and Social Analytics to Improve Computing Education

A workshop co-located with ICER 2015
Workshop starts: Wednesday, August 12 at 1 pm
Workshop ends: Friday, August 14 at noon

This workshop is part of a research project entitled “Exploring Social Programming Environments for Computing Education,” which is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Cyberlearning Program (grant no. IIS-1321045). The project has four broad research goals:

  1. to collect detailed learning process data on computing students as they engage in computer programming assignments;
  2. to integrate into students’ learning environments a social networking-style activity feed that enables students to communicate about their learning processes and problems as they are working on programming assignments;
  3. to develop a visual analytics environment to enable computing instructors and students to explore student learning processes; and
  4. design a collection of interventions to help instructors to be more responsive to student needs, and to help students improve their learning processes and outcomes.

In this workshop, the project team—two principal investigators, four advisory board members, two graduate students, and two undergraduate students—will come together to present and discuss project results so far, and to develop a plan for future research. We would welcome the participation and input of additional ICER community members. In particular, we are seeking up to five members of the ICER community who

  • have a strong interest in the goals of the project;
  • have led, or participated in, research projects in the areas closely related to the project: learning and visual analytics, educational data mining, intelligent tutoring systems, novice programming environments, social media design (including social recommendation systems), and collaborative learning;
  • have connections to instructors of early computing courses whom they might be able to persuade to participate in this project by collecting data in their courses;
  • are willing to prepare for the workshop by doing a modest homework assignment that involves reading a set of relevant project documents; and
  • are able to participate actively in the workshop by engaging in discussions, and providing feedback on research and design ideas.

ICER community participants will receive an honorarium of $600 for their participation in the workshop. Participants will receive their honorarium checks by mail two to four weeks after the end of the workshop.

To apply for a position as an ICER community participant, please e-mail Chris Hundhausen ( a statement describing the ways in which your interests, experience and skills align with the goals of this workshop. Your statement should specifically address the participant criteria listed above. Applications are due by 11:59 pm PDT on July 1, 2015. We will notify applicants of their status by July 8, 2015. To request a copy of the project proposal, or to ask further questions about the workshop, please contact Chris Hundhausen at