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Communications of the ACM


Improving Computing Education Research through Valuing Design

hands adjust documents on a work surface, illustration

Credit: PureSolution

When most people think about computing education, they imagine students sitting in front of computers, learning to program them. Those imaginary students are probably writing code in a text editor, compiling it, running it, and seeing what happens. The code they write, and the editor, compilers and runtimes they use are all designed. But, remarkably, computing education research (CER) has never had publication venues that invite designers and developers to discuss how to design these tools to better support learning or tell retrospective stories of how they have designed these systems. CER ought to value design more. Thinking and talking about design practices will advance our field. With the support of its editorial board, ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) is now welcoming design-centered submissions.

Design research has historically not been valued or accepted within CER. In this column, we highlight the need for publications centering design and design methodologies in CER, and welcome computer scientists of all specializations to contribute innovative designs to the field.


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