Computing as the 4th “R”: a general education approach to computing education

Cutts, Q. , Esper, S. and Simon, B. (2011) Computing as the 4th “R”: a general education approach to computing education. In: Sanders, K. (ed.) Proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Computing Education Research, Providence, RI, USA, 8-9 Aug 2011. ACM: New York, NY, USA, pp. 133-138. ISBN 9781450308298 (doi: 10.1145/2016911.2016938)

72037.pdf - Accepted Version


Publisher's URL:


Computing and computation are increasingly pervading our lives, careers, and societies - a change driving interest in computing education at the secondary level. But what should define a "general education" computing course at this level? That is, what would you want every person to know, assuming they never take another computing course? We identify possible outcomes for such a course through the experience of designing and implementing a general education university course utilizing best-practice pedagogies. Though we nominally taught programming, the design of the course led students to report gaining core, transferable skills and the confidence to employ them in their future. We discuss how various aspects of the course likely contributed to these gains. Finally, we encourage the community to embrace the challenge of teaching general education computing in contrast to and in conjunction with existing curricula designed primarily to interest students in the field.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cutts, Professor Quintin
Authors: Cutts, Q., Esper, S., and Simon, B.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 ACM
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record