Contrasting CS student and academic perspectives and experiences of student engagement

Michael Morgan, Matthew Butler, Jane Sinclair, Christabel Gonsalvez, Neena Thota

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


There is widespread acceptance of the use of national benchmarks to measure student engagement, including the North American National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in the USA and Canada, the Student Experience Survey (SES) in Australia, and the United Kingdom Engagement Survey (UKES). The performance of Computer Science (CS) on these benchmarks has generally been poor over a number of years and is consistently low across a range of instruments with little sign of improvement. It is difficult to argue that the technical nature of the CS discipline is the issue as related STEM disciplines consistently rate higher on many measures. Given the deteriorating performance of CS across multiple student engagement instruments, the urgency of addressing this issue is increasing. Missing from computing education research on this issue to date is the CS student voice and a deeper understanding of why CS students rate their experience so poorly. It is essential to seek the perspectives of both sides of the dialogue primarily responsible for creating the student experience. We carried out an in-depth analysis of student perspectives and experiences relating to their engagement in CS courses and compared it to the perspectives and experiences of CS academics. The outcome of this Working Group was a better understanding of areas of difference between CS students and academics on: what constitutes student engagement; who is responsible for student engagement; examples of both positive and negative engagement experiences in the classroom; and current initiatives to improve student engagement in their CS courses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings Companion of the 23rd Annual ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
EditorsGuido Rossling, Bruce Scharlau
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9781450362238
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education 2018 - Larnaca, Cyprus
Duration: 2 Jul 20184 Jul 2018
Conference number: 23rd (Proceedings)


ConferenceAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education 2018
Abbreviated titleITiCSE 2018
Internet address


  • Computer science
  • National benchmarks
  • Student engagement
  • Student experiences

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