List of References

Susan Rodger, Jenna Hayes, Gaetjens Lezin, Henry Qin, Deborah Nelson, Ruth Tucker, Mercedes Lopez, Stephen Cooper, Wanda Dann, Don Slater, Engaging middle school teachers and students with Alice in a diverse set of subjects. Proceedings of the 40th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education, 2009

Susan Rodger is my mentor professor here at Duke some of the other authors are undergraduate students who were working with professor Rodger last summer. This paper looks at the seminars and summer camps they provided to middle school teachers and students to introduce the Alice programming environment. They found that teachers were engaged with Alice as they were introduced to the program and developed lesson plans in a variety of subject areas including: math, science, language arts, social studies, art and technology. They also found the middle school students were engaged with Alice and were able to understand various programming concepts. A breakdown of how middle school students used Alice during the summer camps is provided.

Daniel C. Cliburn , Susan Miller, Games, stories, or something more traditional: the types of assignments college students prefer, Proceedings of the 39th SIGCSE technical symposium on Computer science education, March 12-15, 2008, Portland, OR, USA

Daniel C. Cliburn, an assistant professor at the University of the Pacific and Susan Miller at Kent University look at what types of projects college students prefer in an introductory programming course. The students use both the Alice programming environment and Java. The projects included a choice between creating a game, a choose your own adventure story and a more traditional textbook problem. They found that games were preferred. I found it interesting that group projects were also preferred, especially for the more difficult problems. This article also gave several student responses as to why the open ended story options were not preferred.

Alice appears to motivate female students in middle school differently than in university. In this study female students did not choose to complete the story telling projects, the few students who did were male.

Sarita Yardi, Pamela Krolikowski, Taneshia Marshall, and Amy Bruchman, An HCI approach to computing in the real world. Journal on Educational Resources in Computing, Vol. 8 Issue 3, October 2008.

Sarita Yardi is a PHD student at Georgia Tech. Pamela Krolikowski and Taneshia Marshall are undergraduates (Pamela is a former CRA participant), and Amy Bruckman is an associate Professor at Georgia Tech. These authors look at another approach to increasing interest of K to 12 students in the computer science field through HCI (human computer interface).

Through a six-week HCI course for students aged 11 to 13 they investigated what should be included in a curriculum and how affective it was in increasing the interest in computer science as a future carreer.

One of the concluding statements that I found interesting: "Computing is not for everyone - not all students will want to have careers in computing and not all students need to have computing careers. However, we argue that all students should develop computational literayy skills to become competitive workers in today's technology-rich workforce." (p 19)

Paul Mullins, Deborah Whitfield, Michael Conlon, Using Alice 2.0 as a first language Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, Vol. 24 Issue 3, January 2009.

These authors are all faculty of the computer science department at Slippery Rock University. They present some of the ways they have used Alice to teach introductory courses in computer science which include both CS majors and liberal arts students. Both weaknesses and strengths of the Alice program are presented including the challenges both students and instructors face. With modifications to their courses to take advantage of the graphical nature of Alice they have found that Alice can teach some of the typical CS concepts, attract non-majors into computer science and increase the number of students that pass course while decreasing the drop outs.

An interesting quote: "Students sometimes believe they have not learned programming concepts after completing the Alice course. They are unaware of the immense teaching load taken off the subsequent instructor by their familiarity with the many concepts they have learned using Alice and the effects of leveling the playing field. Although we have not seen this, a recent study indicates that teaching Alice first may actually be detrimental to students transitioning to C++ or Java.[7] More research is needed on this phenomenon" (p 140)

Peter Brown, Some field experience with Alice Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, Vol. 24 Issue 2, December 2008.

Peter Brown is an assistant professor at Converse College and teaches computer science. He looks at the experience his college has had in using Alice for CS-1 classes. Mentioning some of the positives, this author focuses on several "significant shortcomings" that he has found. The positives mentioned include: student motivation and self-efficacy, visualization of abstract computer concepts, removing syntax errors. This author feels that some of the problems with Alice can be solved but some may not be. The solvable problems include: significant RAM required, weak inheritance model, students cannot transfer programming knowledge to actual application after working only on Alice, difficult transition between Alice and learning Java both in syntax and conceptually from graphics to abstract. It is mentioned that the future Alice 3.0 version may improve upon many of these current negatives.

An interesting quote: "Alice is itself a useful approach, and the potential of the ideas embodied in Alice has only begun to be tapped. But Alice, like so many CS ideas before it, is no silver bullet." (p 218)