Teaching computer science in the victorian certificate of education: A pilot study

Richard Cox, Steven Bird, Bernd Meyer

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

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    A new computer science curriculum has been developed for the Victorian Certificate of Education. It gives students direct entry into second year University computer science. The curriculum focuses on data structures and algorithms, with an emphasis on the graph abstract data type and graph algorithms. We taught a pilot course during 2014 involving students from seven schools, and administered an algorithmic thinking quiz on entry and exit, and also tested a first year university reference group. In this paper we present the curriculum and report on the evaluation. We discuss the effectiveness of our approach and make recommendations for improving future versions of the course. Pedagogical issues are discussed in relation to the cognitive education literature on the teaching of algorithmic thinking.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
    Subtitle of host publicationMarch 8 -11, 2017, Seattle, WA, USA
    EditorsTiffany Barnes , Daniel Garcia
    Place of PublicationNew York, NY
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450346986
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2017
    EventACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) 2017 - Seattle, United States of America
    Duration: 8 Mar 201711 Mar 2017
    Conference number: 48th
    https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3017680 (Proceedings)


    ConferenceACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) 2017
    Abbreviated titleSIGCSE 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
    OtherThe SIGCSE Technical Symposium is the largest computing education conference worldwide organized by ACM SIGCSE. It attracts around 1,300 researchers, educators, and others interested in improving computing education in K-12 and higher education.
    Internet address


    • Algorithmic thinking
    • Computational thinking
    • Computer science education
    • Edgy
    • Graphs
    • High school education
    • Snap!

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