Illinois Computer Science Summer Teaching Workshop: How the Pandemic Transformed Our Teaching, August 10 and 11, 2021

Until Next Year

Thanks to everyone who presented and participated in our inaugural workshop! 208 participants from 85 institutions joined us for all or part of the four sessions. The main event, the chat, and the breakout rooms were full of lively and interesting dialogue. The talks were not recorded, but we have posted links to the presentations on the schedule below.

We are planning to continue the event in 2022. Please complete this form to help us improve the event for next year. See you then!

Workshop Announcement

The 2021 workshop was held virtually over two half-days on August 10–11, 2021. It brought together college instructors who are engaged with teaching computer science to discuss best practices, present new ideas, challenge the status quo, propose new directions, debunk existing assumptions, advocate for new approaches, and present surprising or preliminary results. The 2021 theme was How the Pandemic Transformed Our Teaching, allowing participants to reflect on the difficult year behind us as we prepared to return to classrooms in Fall 2021.

Schedule and Program

The workshop was held on Tuesday and Wednesday August 10–11, 2021.

Tuesday 8/10/2021

09:50AM Opening Remarks
10:00AM Primates in Zoomworld
Margaret Fleck, University of Illinois
10:30AM Inclusive and Accessible Computing
Michael Moore, Texas A&M University
11:00AM UBC CPSC 313: Using the Pandemic as an excuse to flip your class
Margo Seltzer, University of British Columbia
11:30AM Summer of Side Projects: A Project-Based Program for CS1 Students, Made By Course Staff
Monica Para and Harsh Deep, University of Illinois

12:00PM (Break and Zoom Social Hour)

1:00PM The (Virtual) App Fair: Embedding Critical Design Review into CS2
John K. Estell and Stephany Coffman-Wolph, Ohio Northern University
1:30PM An Affective Approach to Fostering Online Classroom Climate — A COVID Exposé
Oluwakemi Ola, University of British Columbia
2:00PM Silver Linings Gradebook
Nate Derbinsky, Northeastern University
2:30PM Incorporating collaborative learning practices into remote teaching of three computer science courses
Mariana Silva, Abdu Alawini, and Geoffrey Herman, University of Illinois

Wednesday 8/11/2021

10:00AM Changes from teaching in a pandemic: You have to make your own cookies now
Susan Rodger, Duke University
10:30AM Evolving the Course Website and Lecture for Online Teaching
Mike Shah, Northeastern University
11:00AM Starting a New Broadening Participation in Computing Program During a Pandemic
Tiffani Williams, University of Illinois
11:30AM Smashing the Calendar — reconsidering every time-based constraint on a course
Cinda Heeren, University of British Columbia

12:00PM (Break and Zoom Social Hour)

1:00PM Computer Science with Theatricality: CS50's Collaboration with the American Repertory Theater
David Malan, Harvard University
1:30PM Project-based assessment for large enrollment classes — can it be done?
Mia Minnes, University of California, San Diego
2:00PM Understanding the needs of students with disabilities — what does data in two semesters of COVID 19 tell us?
Hongye Liu, University of Illinois
2:30PM Three Strategies for Teaching a Course on Algorithms
Richard Hoshino, Northeastern University
3:00PM Closing Remarks

Invited Talks

The following speakers presented invited talks at the 2021 workshop.

Margo Seltzer

Margo I. Seltzer is Canada 150 Research Chair in Computer Systems and the Cheriton Family chair in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are in systems, construed quite broadly: systems for capturing and accessing data provenance, file systems, databases, transaction processing systems, storage and analysis of graph-structured data, new architectures for parallelizing execution, and systems that apply technology to problems in healthcare.

In addition to many other awards, Professor Seltzer is recognized as an outstanding teacher and mentor, having received the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award in 1996, the Abrahmson Teaching Award in 1999, the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising in 2010, the CRA-E Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award in 2017, and the UBC Computer Science Awesome Instructor Award in 2020.

Tiffani Williams

Tiffani L. Williams is a Teaching Professor and Director of Onramp Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2017 to 2020, she was the Director of Computer Science Programs and Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University-Charlotte. From 2005 to 2017, she was an assistant and associate professor (tenured in 2011) in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University. Williams received her BS in Computer Science from Marquette University and her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida. After her PhD studies, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico.

Her honors include an Alfred P. Sloan Postdoctoral Fellowship (2002), an Edward, Frances, and Shirley Daniels Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2004), Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE award (2011), and a PopTech Science Fellow (2012). Williams has been recognized for teaching excellence at Texas A&M with the Graduate Faculty Teaching Excellence award (2011), Undergraduate Faculty Teaching Excellence award (2014), and the Distinguished Award in Teaching by the Association of Former Students (2016).

Nate Derbinsky

Nate Derbinsky joined Northeastern University in 2017 where he is a Teaching Professor and the Assistant Dean for Teaching Faculty in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences, as well as a Technical Advisor in the Center for Inclusive Computing. In 2019 he was awarded the Khoury Best Teacher award for excellence in classroom teaching and educational outreach. Prior to Northeastern, Nate was an Assistant Professor at the Wentworth Institute of Technology and a Postdoctoral Associate at Disney Research. He received his PhD at the University of Michigan working under the supervision of John Laird.

Teaching is Nate Derbinsky’s passion, and his mission is to develop & deliver inclusive computing-education content. He has been teaching computer science, in some form or other, for nearly 20 years, including at the K-12, community college, and graduate levels. He constantly seeks new ways to make complex computing topics accessible and encourage an increasingly diverse group to understand how fun and transformative computing can be.

Susan Rodger

Susan H. Rodger is a Professor of the Practice in the Computer Science Department at Duke University. She received her PhD in Computer Science from Purdue University. Rodger works in the area of computer science education. Her major contributions are in visualization and interaction software for education in theoretical computer science, computing in K-12 and peer-led team learning. Rodger developed JFLAP, software for experimenting with formal languages and automata. JFLAP is the leading educational tool for formal languages and automata theory and has been used around the world for over thirty years in several types of courses including formal languages and automata, compilers, artificial intelligence, and discrete mathematics.

Rodger is a leader in integrating computing into K-12 with the Adventures in Alice Programming project. Her online Java Coursera courses with three others have over 90,000 completions. Rodger was a member of the SIGCSE Board for nine years and SIGCSE Board Chair (2013-2016), Chair of the AP CS Development Committee (1997-2000), a member of the ACM Education Policy Committee (2008-2017), and a board member of CRA-WP since 2010. Rodger received the IEEE Computer Society 2019 Taylor L. Booth Education Award, ACM 2013 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, Duke University Trinity College 2019 David and Janet Vaughn Brooks Distinguished Teaching Award, the ACM Distinguished Educator award (2006), and she was one of two finalist candidates for the NEEDS Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware for the software JFLAP.

David J. Malan

David J. Malan is Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Member of the Faculty of Education in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He teaches Computer Science 50, otherwise known as CS50, which is Harvard University’s largest course, one of Yale University’s largest courses, and edX’s largest MOOC, with over 2.8M registrants. He also teaches at Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Extension School, and Harvard Summer School. All of his courses are freely available as OpenCourseWare.

2021 Organizing Committee

Teaching Associate Professor, University of Illinois
Yael Gertner
Teaching Assistant Professor, University of Illinois
Teaching Assistant Professor, University of Illinois
Brad Solomon
Teaching Assistant Professor, University of Illinois