1. Mark Johnson
  2. Postdoctoral Researcher
  3. Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS) Teaching Assistant Program
  4. The Learning Partnership
  1. Faythe Brannon
  2. Curriculum & Instruction Specialist
  3. Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS) Teaching Assistant Program
  4. Chicago Public Schools
  1. Lucia Dettori
  2. Executive Director
  3. Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS) Teaching Assistant Program
  4. Chicago Public Schools
  1. Ronald Greenberg
  2. Professor
  3. Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS) Teaching Assistant Program
  4. Loyola University Chicago
  1. Steven McGee
  2. https://thelearningpartnership.academia.edu/StevenMcGee
  3. President
  4. Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS) Teaching Assistant Program
  5. The Learning Partnership
  1. Andrew Rasmussen
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andy-rasmussen-a3842210/
  3. CS Project Developer
  4. Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS) Teaching Assistant Program
  5. Chicago Public Schools, DePaul University
  1. Don Yanek
  2. Special Agent
  3. Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS) Teaching Assistant Program
  4. Chicago Public Schools
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Steven McGee

    Steven McGee

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 08:50 a.m.

    Welcome to our video about the TA program that is in support of brining computer science to all Chicago high school students. We would love to hear from others about their approaches to supporting teachers who are new to teaching computer science.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Meriem Sadoun
  • Icon for: Kristen Reed

    Kristen Reed

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 09:06 p.m.

    What an exciting model for supporting computer science teachers! From your video, it looks like the students, teachers, and TAs have formed strong, positive bonds and relationships. I was wondering how you are addressing the impact of the project on student, teachers, and the TAs. What kinds of measures are you using to assess the impact? 

  • Icon for: Ronald Greenberg

    Ronald Greenberg

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 11:28 p.m.

    In the Loyola service learning course, the assessment focuses primarily on the TAs who receive a grade for their work in the course. The TAs complete a number of written reflections regarding their service experiences, material presented in the course (e.g., about underrepresentation in STEM of various demographic groups, stereotype threat, and benefits of diversity), and linkages between these components. Feedback is also solicited from the students' supervisors, and it has almost always been very positive. Reflections by the TAs have shown that they often deepen their own motivation towards their own computing careers as well as planning to continue in outreach efforts. Reports from both the TAs and teachers often reference positive impacts on the students. We haven't gone beyond this sort of qualitative evaluation at Loyola.

  • Icon for: Andrew Rasmussen

    Andrew Rasmussen

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 07:40 p.m.

    There are a few measures in the DePaul course, though we are working to assess the impact more generally. Students write short weekly reflections, as well as a longer reflection at the end. Teachers provide regular brief feedback about the TAs, and virtually all of them have wanted to host teaching assistants multiple times. This term is the first time that I have incorporated a pre- and post- survey for my students to assess their attitudes toward teaching and how they may change during the course of this experience.

  • Icon for: Sehoya Cotner

    Sehoya Cotner

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2019 | 10:27 a.m.

    Inspiring...thanks for sharing! I've also shared a TA PD program story at: https://stemforall2019.videohall.com/presentations/1473

    and am interesting in learning from others. We should track teaching interests in our TAs...shockingly, something I've not considered. 

  • Icon for: Andrew Rasmussen

    Andrew Rasmussen

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 07:45 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing the video, Sehoya! Although it looks our programs are in different contexts (service learning for STEM majors vs. training for college TAs) there are certainly a lot of commonalities. In our video we highlight some of our DePaul students who have demonstrated an interest in teaching, but it was only recently that that was something we started measuring more generally.

  • Icon for: Rachel Garrett

    Rachel Garrett

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 07:14 p.m.

    This is great to see how your programs are findings way to bring computer science to schools across CPS, and at the same time providing authentic field experiences for your candidates. I'm wondering the extent to which your model for TA work is specific to computer science, or could be used in other STEM content areas?

  • Icon for: Ronald Greenberg

    Ronald Greenberg

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 07:44 p.m.

    Yes, it should be totally generalizable to other STEM content areas. In fact, some of that is happening already. For this video, we focused on computer science efforts within the context of the CAFECS RPP, but the Loyola service learning course is called "Broadening Participation in STEM", and students can do other types of outreach and/or focus on other STEM disciplines. The course is offered by the Computer Science Department and draws mostly computing majors, but students from other disciplines have also taken the course. The course content especially focuses on computing but also provides resources for students with divergent interests. The relatively few students in other majors have usually stayed focused on those other subjects, while at least one has taken computing as a new area to learn about and then share with younger students. 

  • Icon for: Cynthia Callard

    Cynthia Callard

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 09:48 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your project!  I appreciate the TA program that you have designed as it seems beneficial for the college students, the CS teachers, and the high school students alike!  I also really appreciate the reflection topics that you ask the TAs to respond to as they bring awareness to critical issues.  I am curious about the identification and selection of the CS teachers to have a TA...do you have criteria to monitor quality of the CS teacher's implementation of the curriculum in line with what you want the TAs to experience?  Thanks!

  • Icon for: Ronald Greenberg

    Ronald Greenberg

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 04:00 p.m.

    At Loyola, the course has a broader context, so students are presented with a wide variety of opportunities to broaden participation in STEM based on requests from a large network of contacts I have built up over past years, or to find a new one. One source of contacts is teachers of Exploring Computer Science courses in CPS. At DePaul, the course is more specifically focused on matching TAs to teachers using the ECS curriculum. (Andy Rasmussen, who recruits TAs from DePaul works in the CPS Office of Computer Science, but he is currently traveling to the CompEd conference in China.) While implementation surveys have been done with ECS teachers at various times, we don't particularly vet teachers for participation in this program; the most interested teachers tend to be new to teaching the course. I don't think any of the TAs have failed to find interesting experiences regardless of the teacher they work with.

  • Icon for: Andrew Rasmussen

    Andrew Rasmussen

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 07:52 p.m.

    We work to be very thoughtful with where we place our DePaul TAs. There are 85 high schools in CPS offering ECS, and about 200 teachers, while there are only about 25 students in my class at any time. Faythe and I prioritize teachers who are new to teaching computer science, and those who are offering ECS since that is what we can best prepare them to support. An exception are teachers who are new to teaching in general, since we have found that it can seem overwhelming to coordinate with a TA on top of everything that is new to a first-year teacher. At this time the Office of Computer Science at CPS monitors the implementation of ECS through standard assessments and other means, but not linked to the TA program.

    +1 to Ron's comment about how TAs never fail to find interesting experiences in the classroom!

  • Icon for: Rachel Garrett

    Rachel Garrett

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 03:14 p.m.

    Andrew, I really appreciate the thoughtfulness behind your decisions for where to place the TAs. That makes sense that a TA position would work best with a cooperating teacher that is new to teaching the content but not new to teaching. It makes me wonder if that opportunity for the TA to have some "leadership" with the content is another ingredient to support their development? Have you explored whether candidates develop their instructional self-efficacy in different ways compared to a more traditional field placement where they don't bring specific expertise, for example?  

  • May 15, 2019 | 11:00 a.m.

    What a great program. Are all undergraduates required to take a service-learning course? Does the university provide additional funding to off-set the potential additional costs associated with service-learning like this?

  • Icon for: Ronald Greenberg

    Ronald Greenberg

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 04:23 p.m.

    Loyola undergraduates are not all required to take a service learning course, but they do need to complete at least one course from various options categorized as Engaged Learning, and our computing majors actually need to complete two courses (six credits) coming from this service learning course, internships, independent study projects, or a couple other options. A specific requirement for Service Learning occurs only in the University Honors Program, but Loyola has a strong culture of community service and social justice activity, regardless.

    Usually, there have not been significant additional costs. If students do a lot of hours at certain sites, they may need to complete a background check, or some organizations may have some type of training requirement, but, so far, none of them have imposed any cost on the volunteer. I have offered to reimburse students if they need to pay for a background check. That's not really due to a standing source of University funding, but I did know that I had been granted an opportunity to draw on some funds after I was named as an "Experiential Learning Faculty Fellow"; I suspect that I might anyway be able to obtain modest funds to support this type of student activity if needed. In a more general sense, we do have a highly supportive Center for Experiential Learning, which works with faculty in connection with service learning and academic internships.

    Travel is probably more of an impediment than other costs. Being in an urban location, there are a lot of good sites that are accessible by public transportation, or commuter students may just use a car. For some students, the choice of sites may be greatly influenced by where they can get to quickly via public transportation. If we had funds to pay students to Uber around the city, I guess that would increase the opportunities.

  • Icon for: Andrew Rasmussen

    Andrew Rasmussen

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 07:56 p.m.

    Students at DePaul are required to take a service learning course, and this is the main one in the school of computing.

    As Ron mentioned, there is not funding provided directly to students, but there are usually not significant additional costs apart from time and travel. When matching TAs with schools, I work to account for commute times and schedules of my students to minimize the time burden, while balancing the need for classroom support at schools distributed across a big city.

  • May 16, 2019 | 03:13 p.m.

    Ummm....what is a "special agent" for the Chicago Public Schools, the official ID here for some fellow named Don Yanek?

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.