Working Groups

We have seven working groups at the conference this year.
Working Groups are formed by participants with a common interest related to one of the topics presented below. The groups of 5 to around 10 participants work electronically prior to commencement of the conference. Working groups convene on the Friday evening 3 July before the conference, and start face-to-face work in Vilnius at 9am on Saturday 4 July. Group members are expected to work together for the whole of Saturday and Sunday, and continue their work throughout the conference. However, attendees are able to attend some conference sessions and a Tuesday afternoon excursion if they wish.
All participants must register for, and be present at, the conference to be considered a contributor towards the final report.
Participants present their results to conference attendees at a special working group presentation session, and submit a final report after the conference concludes. Final reports are refereed and, if accepted, are published at least in the ACM Digital Library.
To apply to join a working group, contact the group leaders via the email addresses provided below with each abstract. Closing date for membership applications is Monday 23 March 2015. Acceptance letters will be sent by WG learders at latest on the first week of April (1st - 5th of April).

Working Group 1: Approaches to the Design and Conduct of Global Software Engineering Courses
Working Group Leaders:
Tony Clear  (Auckland University of Technology , New Zealand),
Mats Daniels  (Uppsala University, Sweden),
Sarah Beecham (Lero – The Irish Software Engineering Centre, University of Limerick, Ireland),

The importance of a broader range of competencies than the solely technical is increasingly evident as the work of engineers and computing professionals becomes more globalized. Such work extends beyond participation in multidisciplinary teams, to work within globally distributed and intercultural projects. In response to these societal and professional demands CS educators are increasingly involved in courses that aim to emulate the demands imposed when undertaking software development within a global setting.

In this working group we propose to traverse the many options available to CS educators teaching CS courses involving global collaboration.  The challenges and solutions in conducting global software engineering courses will be addressed.  There is limited consolidated guidance available for CS educators wishing to implement a global course, in collaboration with other institutions.  So building upon the participants’ knowledge of both the literature and the practice in the area, it is the intended outcome of this working group to produce a report that will serve as a broad ranging resource for global software engineering educators.
Applicants should provide information about their prior experiences in global software engineering education and courses involving global collaboration.

Working Group 2: Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics in how Students Construct Solutions to Programming Problems
Working Group Leaders:
Petri Ihantola
(Tampere University of Technology, Finland),
Arto Vihavainen  (University of Helsinki, Finland),

While mining how students' construct solutions to programming problems has gained attention, researchers are not fully utilizing or even aware of the vast amounts of rich data available. The goal of this working group is to create a foundation for research on mining students’ programming processes, to make such data more widely available, and to determine the applicability of existing practices from the literature (e.g. how to use data to identify at-risk students or model students' progress) on multiple data sets.

The working group will (1) identify and survey existing literature on mining students’ solutions to programming problems, (2) identify existing datasets to gain understanding on the differences of such data (datasets will also be made available by the WG leaders; other datasets are also welcome), (3) identify and outline e.g. privacy issues that are to be considered when sharing such data, (4) identify existing tools for source code snapshot analysis, and finally, (5) replicate some of the previously identified studies on different datasets. We will also write a report on this work, and, depending on the state of the report at the end, we shall (6) share a pint in Vilnius. To achieve the final goal, we will start our work during the Spring.

To do this, we invite participation by educational data mining and learning analytics researchers, developers of educational resources, educational researchers, educators, and technology developers. In your application email, please briefly tell us about yourself, what would you like to bring into our group, and what would you like to take home from it.

Working Group 3: Computer Science Education in K-12 Schools
Working Group Leaders:
Peter Hubwieser (Technische Universität München, Germany),
Michal Armoni  (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel),
Michail Giannakos (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway),

In many countries, serious efforts were undertaken during the last decade to improve or introduce rigorous computer science education (CSE) in K-12 schools. Looking at all these initiatives, it seems natural to ask what they have achieved, what they have in common, in which aspects they differ and, most importantly, what all these groups can learn from each other. Yet, regarding the apparent substantial differences in many regards, these questions are not easy to be answered. At the ITiCSE 2011, the working group “Computer Science/Informatics in Secondary Schools” developed a three-dimensional category system for this purpose (Darmstadt Model). To collect extensive case studies about the various situations of CSE in K-12 schools (shortly K-12 CSE), we have edited two special issues of the ACM journal “Transactions on Computing Education” (TOCE). Now it seems obvious to apply the Darmstadt Model to analyze, compare and extract useful insights from all these articles by qualitative text analysis, aiming to answer some very interesting research questions regarding K-12 CSE. During the work at the ITiCSE 2015, we propose to perform a deductive qualitative text analysis on all these case studies. As a category system, we will apply the Darmstadt Model. Based on the coding results, we could collect and summarize the findings for each category. In particular, we expect comprehensive models for the different goals of CSE, for potential learning content and for teacher education initiatives.

In principle, all persons that are interested in K-12 CSE would be welcome to join our group. Yet, it would be very helpful for the coding process, if the participants would have some solid background in this field.

Working Group 4: Key Concepts in K-9 Computer Science Education
Working Group Leaders:

Erik Barendsen  (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands),
Linda Mannila (Åbo Akademi University, Finland),

Computer Science (CS) is no longer considered a subject area only relevant for a narrow group of professionals, but rather as a vital part of general education that should be available to all children and youth. The December 2014 issue of ACM Inroads featured a special section on early computing education. The articles highlighted several questions related to the when, what and how of introducing CS prior to university level.

Some countries already have implemented such general CS education or are planning to do so in the near future. In other countries, the introduction of CS education in the lower education levels is still subject to debate.

There is no consensus as to which concepts and learning goals are suitable for early CS education. In this working group we are planning to investigate the current state of affairs. We will focus on CS concepts in the intended curriculum (standards and guidelines), the implemented curriculum (teaching practices) and the achieved curriculum (assessment practices). As to the latter, we intend to include both school assessment and informal assessment through contests aimed at K-9 students.

Our work can be divided into three main phases. First, we will review a number of K-12 CS standards and curriculum recommendations. Second, we explore questions related to the concepts covered in practice. This exploration is based on two parts: 1) an empirical part based on interviews or questionnaires concerning their teaching and assessment, distributed to teachers, and 2) an analytical part based on studying tasks from the international Bebras contest. The aim of studying Bebras tasks is to identify which concepts they address and what type of assessment is involved. Third, we compare the appearance of concepts found thus far and reflect on the results.

The outcome of the working group will contribute to the discussion on what CS at K-9 level can entail, and guide teachers, teacher educators and curriculum developers in making informed decisions with regard to teaching and assessing CS at this particular level.

In your application, please tell us about your research interests and experience, as well as your involvement (if any) in CS teaching and/or curriculum development at different levels. Moreover, indicate how you would like to contribute to the working group.

Working Group 5: A repository for high school computer science questions, visual assessment tools and metadata annotations
Working Group Leaders:
Daniela Giordano (University of Catania, Italy),  
Francesco Maiorana (University of Catania, Italy),

In the on-going debate on what competencies are required by 21st century students, there is general agreement that computer science principles and computational thinking skills should be addressed as soon as possible. In this scenario, the aim of the working group is to discuss and frame computer science competencies for 21st century high school or undergraduate students, by identifying what to assess, how to assess it and producing a question bank suitable also for visual on-line assessment tools. This is especially important to leverage on the appeal that mobile gaming and visual programming environments have on the youngsters.

The working group will: 1) Review the available computer science competency frameworks to propose a set of knowledge, competencies, and skills targeted to high school/undergraduate students in a broad range of contexts; 2) Review the existing resources on how to assess the output of point 1) and the tools that can be used for this purpose; 3) Develop a set of guidelines for designing modern assessment through on-line platforms that support different type of questions and allow for visual coding; 4) Write an initial set of computer science questions annotated with metadata to allow for easier retrieval, repurposing, sharing and linking to competencies; 5) Collect the annotated questions in a repository enhanced with functionalities to support a growing community of users, both teachers and students, as contributors and validators.

We invite participation from researchers and practitioners in computer science education who are especially interested in assessment, including, but not limited to, on-line, interactive, multi-type, visual, or game-based approaches. Please point out in your application any experience relevant to the activities and aim of the working group.

Working Group 6: Designing an Information Technology Curriculum Framework to Prepare Successful Graduates in 2025
Working Group Leaders:
Hala Alrumaih (Al Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Saudi Arabia),
John Impagliazzo (Hofstra University, USA),
Barry Lunt  (Brigham Young University, USA),
Mihaela Sabin (University of New Hampshire, USA),
Ming Zhang (Peking University, China),

The primary goal of this working group is to develop curriculum guidelines for rigorous, high quality, four-year degree programs in information technology (IT) that prepares successful graduates for a 2025 global technological society. The working group effort will focus on determining:

  • A futuristic IT body of knowledge based on the IT2008 curricular report;
  • The breadth and depth of the IT knowledge areas with an emphasis on future technologies;
  • Current IT-related computing practices and learning outcomes focused on student performance by the time of graduation; and
  • Graduate profile characteristics with an emphasis on industry expectations of graduates and technological needs. 

The working group will use survey data from 4-year IT degree programs in computing departments worldwide.

Those wishing to participate in this dynamic working group should have a keen interest in developing an innovative curriculum in information technology. The effort bases its work on IT as defined by ACM in its CC2005 and IT2008 reports.  Participants must be ready, willing, and able to start work in April in an effort to prepare for the face-to-face working group sessions in July.  Applicants should send Mihaela Sabin <> by 23 March:

  1. a brief statement (approximately 200 words) stating how they plan to contribute to the working group, and
  2. a short bio (not CV) that highlights their past achievements. 

Decisions regarding acceptance will take place by 5 April. Be part of the future!  Send in your application today!

Working Group 7: What’s in a name?: A Taxonomy of Computing Education Terminology
 Working Group Leaders:
Alison Clear (Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand),
Simon (University of Newcastle, Australia),

What’s in a name? The Computing/Information Technology/Informatica/Information and Communications Technology/Computer Science/ Information Systems profession has many different names internationally. This has caused wide concern for many potential students, employers and the general public worldwide. As a global community we need to be more specific on what we call the different parts of our profession and more consistent to avoid confusing the public, employers and particularly potential students.

This issue was discussed recently at the ACM Education Council meeting and the importance of creating international consistency was agreed.

We now invite participants from all over the world and with all varying areas of expertise, to join this Working Group will assemble a taxonomy of computing terms and their meanings, which will be available to the computer science community to enable a modicum of consistency when speaking internationally about the global profession of…  well what will we call it?