Call for Applications

Infusing Cooperative Learning into Computer Science Principles Courses to
Promote Engagement and Diversity

July 9-12, 2015 (prior to CSTA conference)

Dallas, TX (Hilton DFW Lakes Hotel)

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation


The curriculum framework for CS Principles (CSP) was designed to appeal to a broader and more diverse group of students and to be more engaging than the current AP Computer Science A course. However, curriculum by itself is not enough to ensure student engagement – the most interesting and innovative curriculum can still be taught in a disengaged manner, leading to lost opportunities for broadening interest in computing across a diverse student population. The learning science literature on Cooperative Learning (CL) has been shown to increase class participation and student learning, while also promoting diversity in a manner that supports the differentiated instruction needed to engage students who have mixed abilities.

An NSF-sponsored workshop will be offered in July 2015 that introduces the concepts of Cooperative Learning within the context of the new CS Principles curriculum framework. The workshop will be held prior to the CSTA conference in Dallas, TX. Participants will arrive on Wednesday, July 8th for an evening dinner and participate in the workshop all day Friday-Saturday (July 9-11), and half day on Sunday (July 12). All travel expenses will be covered in addition to a $500 stipend (the workshop does not cover the cost to attend the CSTA conference).

The workshop will provide participants with a general understanding of cooperative learning theory and research foundations that support improved engagement and diversity in mixed-ability classrooms (two days of the workshop will be provided by Kagan Professional Development, one of the leaders in cooperative learning research). Participants will learn how the CL structures can be applied to specific contexts within CSP through example lesson plans and team discussion sessions. The workshop is designed for high school teachers with experience teaching a CS Principles course — teachers who want to learn about how cooperative learning strategies can be infused into their CS Principles course. Teachers who plan on teaching a CS Principles course in 2015-2016 may also apply. We will offer this workshop again in 2016 and in 2017.

Benefits Provided to Attendees

Each participant will be provided with the following:

  • $500 stipend
  • Travel expenses (return flight can be scheduled after CSTA)
  • All meals from Wednesday dinner (July 8) through Sunday lunch (July 12)
  • Four nights hotel at the Hilton DFW Lakes
  • Two days of training from Kagan Professional Development (Thu/Fri) and 1.5 days of CS Principles-specific training on cooperative learning techniques

Expectations of Attendees

The workshop organizers expect all attendees to participate in the following activities:

  • Active participation in all group activities during the face-to-face workshop period (planned day activities and evening group events)
  • Attend two virtual Hangout meetings (one in Fall, one in Spring)
  • Agree to be photographed/recorded during the workshop
  • Contribute two lesson plans over the course of a year that show how CL structures can be applied to the CSP curriculum framework
  • Document which CL structures (and the amount of time) were used in the classroom
  • Agree to provide anonymized information about students (gender, race, ethnicity)
  • Administer pre/post-course computational self-efficacy scores
  • Promote and recruit students for your new course with a special emphasis on recruiting young women and minority students
  • Offer the course during the 2015-2016 school year and for the next two years Implementing Cooperative Learning Structures

Important Dates

May 29: Applications Due

June 5: Notifications

July 8: Arrive in evening (optional group dinner)

July 9-12: Workshop (ends July 12 at noon)

Application Process

To apply for this workshop, please provide your response at the following location before May 29:

Workshop Application Site:


Owen Astrachan, Duke University

Jeff Gray, University of Alabama

Fran Trees, Rutgers University


Richard Kick, Newbury Park High School (California)

Deepa Muralidhar, Atlanta Girls School (Georgia)

Chinma Uche, Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science (Connecticut)


This project is supported by a CE21 grant from the National Science Foundation (CNS-1441045).


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This