BPC plans, and more proposals will be
required in the future. Proposal writers
will be provided a set of resources, and
they will be encouraged to participate
in meaningful activities that have successfully reached underrepresented
populations. Example programs include the Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) programd from the Computing Research
Association’s Committee on the Status
of Women in Computing Research
(CRA-W) and the NCWIT Aspirations
award.e There are things we can do that
have a measurable impact on increasing equitable access to computing education, and it is the responsibility of
the entire CS community to do them
and assess whether they are working.
CS learning opportunities are highly
sought after. CS departments have an
ethical obligation to ensure access to
these opportunities is equitable. We
propose the use of empirical measures,
to ensure we are reaching advantaged
and less-advantaged students equally.
1. Chuang, I. and Ho, A. HarvardX and MITx: Four years
of open online courses—Fall 2012–Summer 2016
(Dec. 23, 2016); https://ssrn.com/abstract=2889436
2. DiSalvo, B., Reid, C., and Khanipour Roshan, P. They
can’t find us: The search for informal CS education.
In Proceedings of the 45th ACM Technical Symposium
on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ‘ 14). ACM,
New York, NY, USA, 2014, 487–492; DOI: http://dx.doi.
3. Ericson, B. and Guzdial, M. Measuring demographics
and performance in computer science education at a
nationwide scale using AP CS data. In Proceedings
of the 45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer
Science Education (SIGCSE ‘ 14). ACM, New
York, N Y, USA, 2014, 217–222; DOI: http://dx.doi.
4. Goodman, J., Melkers, J. and Pallais, A. Can Online
Delivery Increase Access to Education? Faculty
Research Working Paper No. w22754. National Bureau
of Economic Research, 2016.
5. Hansen, J.D. and Reich, J. Socioeconomic status
and MOOC enrollment: Enriching demographic
information with external datasets. In Proceedings
of the Fifth International Conference on Learning
Analytics And Knowledge (LAK ‘ 15). ACM, New
York, N Y, USA, 2015, 59–63. DOI= http://dx.doi.
6. Rawls, J. A Theory of Justice. Harvard University
Press, Cambridge, MA, 1971.
Mark Guzdial ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a professor in
the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute
of Technology, and in Computer Science & Engineering at
the University of Michigan, MI, USA.
Amy Bruckman ( email@example.com) is a professor and
associate chair in the School of Interactive Computing at
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Copyright held by authors.
home. Other researchers are exploring
the use of “nudges” to convince students they can succeed and MOOCs are
worth the effort.
We do not believe MOOCs are fundamentally unsuited to struggling
learners. We need to continue the design work to make scalable MOOC or
MOOC-like solutions work more effectively for less-advantaged students.
We also need to design and offer non-MOOC alternatives for students who
need greater support.
Our Proposal: Match the
We propose that CS departments who
offer MOOCs must balance the opportunities they are offering to advantaged
students (like MOOCs) by pairing them
with opportunities for less-advantaged
students. CS MOOCs fill a need and
should be offered and even expanded.
But they do not meet the definition
of Rawlsian justice. CS departments
should offer interventions that measurably reach advantaged and less-advantaged students equally. Dollar for
dollar, student for student, initiatives
that reach more advantaged students
need to be matched with those that
reach less-advantaged ones.
The U.S. National Science Foundation has launched a new pilot effort
to expand engagement in broadening
participation in computing (BPC) activities by awardees in their Computer
and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate.c They aim
to increase the number of computer
scientists who are working to make
computing education more accessible.
Some CISE proposals already require
For further information
ACM Journal of
or to submit your
Providing Research and Tools
for Better Data
ACM JDIQ is a multi-disciplinary journal
that attracts papers
to algorithmic solutions
to empirical research
mission is to publish
high impact articles
contributing to the
field of data and
information quality (IQ).