The second computing education dissertation I have been reading is Visual Programming Simulation in Introductory Programming Education by Juha Sorva. Sorva’s dissertation caught my attention from the first moment. As a writer, he is interesting, straightforward, and creative. I’m dedicating this blog post just to his introduction, because I found several images which I found especially effective. Click on each image to zoom in!
The first is how Sorva explains that his dissertation, although heavy in both education and psychology research, must be considered as computer science research. The Venn diagram he presents is a simple way he explains computing education research (CER):
The second image is how Sorva explains the progression of his book. He presents it as an iPhone texting dialogue. The figure is easy to follow and functions as an effective way of communicating with a generation who uses iPhones as easily as breathing:
Lastly, in the introduction, Sorva includes a small form of comic relief in the introduction. He says “if you are one of my relatives with a limited interest in computing education, or otherwise stuck at my doctoral defense with a copy of this book in front of you, you may prefer to try the surface approach provided by the crossword in Figure 1.3. (This one might take a while to complete.)”