Research seminars

We host free online seminars on current computing education research topics. Speakers from around the world present their work in the field.

This is your opportunity to learn from the latest research insights, make connections with fellow educators and researchers, and take part in discussions.

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Join an upcoming seminar session

Student in the middle of a programming task

Our 2024 seminar series is on the theme of teaching programming (with or without AI). In this series, we explore the latest research on how teachers can best support school-age learners to develop their programming skills.

Seminar take place on the first Tuesday of each month at 17:00–18:30 BST / 12:00–13:30 EDT / 9:00–10:30 PDT / 18:00–19:30 CEST. 

16 April: Brett A. Becker (University College Dublin)

Generative AI in programming education: Bridging the gap from school to what lies ahead

Secondary school students and teachers have particular needs and face specific constraints that result in a unique landscape in terms of programming education. The rise of generative AI complicates this scene but also provides several potential opportunities. One of the greatest challenges in this arena is that while university students studying computing have a high likelihood of continuing on a path in computing, most school students choose to go into non-computing disciplines for further/higher education and/or their careers. This talk will focus on how generative AI may be effectively utilised in secondary school programming education and how it can be leveraged so that students can be best prepared for continuing their education or beginning their careers, regardless of discipline.

Dr Brett A. Becker is an Assistant Professor at University College Dublin in the School of Computer Science. His research area is computing education broadly construed, normally focusing on the psychology of programming, programming error messages, novice programmer behaviour, metacognition, and generative AI in education. In 2020, he was awarded a National Forum Teaching & Learning Research Fellowship, Ireland’s most prestigious national award in higher education.

14 May: Stephen MacNeil, Andrew Tran & Irene Hou (Temple University)

Generative AI is changing undergraduate education; and undergraduate research too!

The advent of generative AI has triggered transformative shifts in computing education, leaving educators scrambling and students pondering their futures. Amidst this uncertainty, Stephen MacNeil and his team have observed a surge in opportunities for undergraduate involvement in research. Over the past two years, their lab has welcomed over 50 undergraduate researchers, with an impressive 73% of them co-authoring a published paper or poster. 

Engaging in generative AI research has proven cathartic for students, empowering the students with agency and the ability to shape their own futures in computing. In contrast to the uncertainty in the classroom, student researchers appear to be more confident and engaged than ever. This talk will include some of experiences and strategies that MacNeil’s team has used to involve undergraduates in computing education research focused on generative AI, while showcasing outstanding projects spearheaded by undergraduate researchers.

Dr Stephen MacNeil is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA, where he directs the Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab. His work in computing education spans inclusive classroom design, scalable undergraduate research ecosystems, and generative AI in education. He has published over 15+ papers on generative AI and hosted multiple related workshops and ‘birds of a feather’ sessions at computing education conferences. 

Andrew Tran is an undergraduate student at Temple University studying computer science. Since joining the HCI Lab, he has produced 9 papers and posters about generative AI and computing education. In addition to his role as a researcher, he has participated in software engineering internships at startups and Fortune 500 companies. Andrew has held several leadership roles as President of Temple University's ACM chapter and as the Director of Temple University's annual hackathon, OwlHacks.

Irene Hou is a Research Lead at Temple University's HCI Lab. She graduated from UC San Diego with a BS in cognitive science and a minor in computer science. Her current research focuses on the intersection of generative AI, computing pedagogy, and human–AI interaction. She has received acceptance to PhD programs at UCSD, UCI, and UW, and is set to commence her doctoral studies in the fall of 2024.

11 June: Veronica Cucuiat (Raspberry Pi Foundation)

More information coming soon.

16 July: Leo Porter (UC San Diego)

More information coming soon.

8 October: Juho Leinonen & Arto Hellas (Aalto University)

More information coming soon.

Catch up on previous seminars

We have had the privilege to learn from many incredible researchers since we started our seminars in 2020, and we're excited to share their talks with you. Explore the archives below to watch and read about past seminars.