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Computing at school: from problems to programs

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for beginners learning to program is how to go from a given word problem to the code that solves it. The OU’s new Level 1 module Introduction to computing and information technology 2 introduces a step-by-step, systematic, scaffolded approach that guides beginners through the process, decoupling the various computational thinking skills needed.

As part of the Institute of Coding’s Theme 4 (widening participation) activities, Dr Michel Wermelinger, co-author of the module, summarised the approach to over 40 school teachers at the ‘speed geek’ event on 15 June, part of the 10th CAS National Conference. The teachers welcomed the approach as it aims to address a familiar issue faced by those teaching coding. Among the insightful conversations with attendants, there were suggestions to develop a more visual rendition of the approach, e.g. for younger pupils using block languages or for students with literacy difficulties.

Computing At School (CAS) is a grassroots organisation of thousands of Computing teachers, IT professionals, higher education academics and others interested in the promotion and teaching of Computing in primary and secondary schools. CAS was instrumental in bringing about and delivering the new Computing curriculum in English schools.

@IoCoding on Twitter

Institute of Coding @Institute of Coding
Debbie Forster, CEO of @techcharterUK and member of the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board for the IoC, voted 3rd most infulential woman in UK technology 2018 >> https://t.co/MfKHk5KNNN

- October 19, 2018

Institute of Coding @Institute of Coding
Want to partner with the Institute of Coding? Whether you’re an SME or large corporation, we’d love to hear from you. Sign up on our website >> https://t.co/cQfYKnMz8l #digitalskillsmatter https://t.co/CKkCruULcR

- October 18, 2018

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The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education. Our research underpins the teaching we deliver to some 200,000 students as the UK’s largest university. Nearly three quarters (72%) of Open University research was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Uniquely we operate within the four nations of the UK, with nation offices in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh as well as regional offices in England and our head office in Milton Keynes.

All of our roles play a key part in our students’ journey. We have a range of exciting opportunities for ambitious academics and researchers, as well as top class teaching and professional services roles. We offer a dynamic, inter-disciplinary research culture where academics and researchers can work creatively.

Lecturer in Computing and Communications

Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
£32,548 – £38,833, Ref: 15087
Based in Milton Keynes
Application closing date: Monday 12 November, 2018 – 12:00.

You will be a member of the Open University team, comprising academics and technology specialists in data science, cyber security, learning analytics and distributed ledger technologies, who are leading the “University Learners” theme of the Institute of Coding (https://instituteofcoding.open.ac.uk/).  The Institute is a hugely exciting new national venture to try to address the digital skills gap: equipping learners of all disciplines to fulfil their potential in the digital economy and meet employment needs. You will be a key part of the development and of the OU’s contributions to this initiative.

You will be a major contributor to the design and trial of a world-class infrastructure to support the teaching at a distance of a variety of Computing subjects, including data science, programming, cyber security and robotics. The infrastructure will allow the easy creation and update of virtual environments with the necessary software for each module, integrate with the teaching materials and learning analytics on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and allow students to work synchronously with peers and tutors in an online programming lab.

You will work with academic colleagues, and with the teams in IT and the STEM Faculty that maintain the IT and VLE infrastructure, developed the award-winning OpenSTEM Labs (https://ounews.co/science-mct/openstem-labs-wins-outstanding-digital-innovation-of-the-year-award/) and the OU’s learning analytics platform.

You will have a passion for technology-enhanced teaching of Computing and Communications and for developing any necessary technology, in addition to having expertise in a particular Computing and Communications subject.

For more information about the post visit: http://www.open.ac.uk/about/employment/vacancies/lecturer-computing-and-communications-15087