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Miles Berry
Principal lecturer in computing education at University of Roehampton.
Principal lecturer in computing education at University of Roehampton.

Miles's posts

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Fancy joining in or watching a Google Hangout discussion with Cynthia Selby, Simon Woodhead and others about using multi-choice questions and the Diagnostic Questions platform for formative assessment in computing? We'll meet online at 8pm on Thursday 14th July, just in time to get cracking on writing some questions and quizzes over the summer.

See to find out more about Project Quantum, and sign up at to try out the platform we're using for the first stages of the project.

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An informal discussion with Nicholas Tollervey, Howard Baker and David Whale about the BBC micro:bit

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A recording of my keynote presentation from #RUFestOfComp16

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Viskell - visual coding meets Haskell

Viskell is an experimental visual programming environment for a typed (Haskell-like) functional programming language. This project is exploring the possibilities and challenges of interactive visual programming in combination with the strengths and weaknesses of functional languages.

"Computer Programming Instruction -Effects of Collaboration and Structured Design Mileposts"

This study investigated the effects of teaching students to program the computer with an instructional approach that emphasizes student collaboration and structured design concepts. Sections of a high school computer science class were assigned randomly to one of two methods of programming instruction (individualistic-traditional or team-structured). The results from analyses of variance revealed a significant effect in favor of the team-based structured programming methodology on students’ programming performance and attitude toward programming. In addition, there were significant positive correlations between student ability to design solutions to programming problems and total programming performance and attitude toward programming. The findings are discussed with respect to implications for programming instruction in high school computer science classes.

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Comparing Textual and Block Interfaces in a Novice
Programming Environment

"Visual, block-based programming environments present an
alternative way of teaching programming to novices and
have proven successful in classrooms and informal learning
settings. However, few studies have been able to attribute
this success to specific features of the environment. In this
study, we isolate the most fundamental feature of these environments,
the block interface, and compare it directly to
its textual counterpart. We present analysis from a study
of two groups of novice programmers, one assigned to each
interface, as they completed a simple programming activity.
We found that while the interface did not seem to affect
users’ attitudes or perceived difficulty, students using the
block interface spent less time off task and completed more
of the activity’s goals in less time."

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Teaching graph algorithms to children of all ages

"We report on our experiences in teaching graph theory and
algorithms to school children, aged 5 to 17. Our objectives
were to demonstrate that children can discover quite
complex mathematical concepts, and are able to work with
abstractions and use computation reasoning from quite an
early age. We provide details of our incremental approach,
which can be used with students of a wide range of abilities.
Also, we comment on the importance of problem based
learning where the algorithms are presented as possible solutions
to games or puzzles. Finally, we conclude with a
number of important observations with regard to the introduction
of computer science into schools."

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Sowing the Seeds: A Landscape Study on Assessment in Secondary Computer Science Education

"This study summarizes what is known about assessment of student learning in high school Computer Science (CS) in the United States (US), reports on the results of the landscape study, and concludes with recommendations for advancing the state of assessment in K–12 CS. With support from Google, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Assessment Task Force conducted a study of secondary school educators to determine the state of computer science education assessment and how teachers assess student learning in their computer science classrooms. Based on interviews with computer science practitioners, we found that teachers use a variety of formative and summative assessment techniques, but also face a number of challenges finding valid and reliable assessments to use in their classrooms. "

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