Low overhead methods for improving education capacity and outcomes in computer science

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dc.contributor.author Bell, Richard Scott
dc.date.accessioned 2014-08-04T15:23:49Z
dc.date.available 2014-08-04T15:23:49Z
dc.date.issued 2014-08-04
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/18168
dc.description.abstract Computer science departments face numerous challenges. Enrollment over the past 15 years reached an all-time high, endured a rapid decline and is now experiencing a just as rapid rebound. Meanwhile, demand for graduates continues to grow at an incredible rate. This is especially true in specialized sub-fields such as cybersecurity, where employers are constantly working to keep up with changing technology and new threats emerging on a daily basis. My research consists of two main objectives. The rst is gauging the ability of pre-service teachers from non-STEM areas of study to introduce and utilize computing concepts in a classroom setting. The second goal is to develop an assessment tool that enables improvements in quality of education for students within cybersecurity courses. Currently, few K-12 school districts in the United States o er stand-alone courses in computer science. My work shows that pre-service teachers in non-STEM areas are capable of effectively introducing basic concepts to students using modern software development tools while exploring content within their own areas of expertise. Survey results indicate that student interest and self-efficacy increased when they were taught by these pre-service teachers. I also found that with only 2 hours of experience, pre-service teachers enrolled in an education technology course showed dramatic increases in interest and confidence related to using this technology. These two findings demonstrate that there are potential ways to increase interest in computing among a broad student population at the K-12 level without changing core curriculum requirements. Even when students choose to enter computer science departments, a large number do not remain within the program. The second portion of my research focuses on developing an assessment tool for measuring student interest and self-efficacy in cybersecurity courses. Using information gleaned from a series of interviews with cybersecurity students, I developed, and performed the initial testing of, a survey instrument which measures these 2 values. Initial results show that the survey responses were very different between a group of introductory programming students and those enrolled in a cybersecurity course and that general trends in both self-efficacy and interest among theses differing student populations can be observed en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Computer science en_US
dc.subject K-12 education en_US
dc.subject Cybersecurity en_US
dc.subject Assessment en_US
dc.title Low overhead methods for improving education capacity and outcomes in computer science en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Department of Computing and Information Sciences en_US
dc.description.advisor Eugene Vasserman en_US
dc.subject.umi Computer Science (0984) en_US
dc.date.published 2014 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth August en_US

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