Publications

2018
Sabin, Mihaela C., Hala Alrumaih, and John Impagliazzo. 2018. “A Competency-based Approach toward Curricular Guidelines for Information Technology Education”. in 2018 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference. Publisher's Version Abstract
The Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Computer Society have launched a new report titled, Curriculum Guidelines for Baccalaureate Degree Programs in Information Technology (IT2017). This paper discusses significant aspects of the IT2017 report and focuses on competency-driven learning rather than delivery of knowledge in information technology (IT) programs. It also highlights an IT curricular framework that meets the growing demands of a changing technological world in the next decade. Specifically, the paper outlines ways by which baccalaureate IT programs might implement the IT curricular framework and prepare students with knowledge, skills, and dispositions to equip graduates with competencies that matter in the workplace. The paper suggests that a focus on competencies allows academic departments to forge collaborations with employers and engage students in professional practice experiences. It also shows how professionals and educators might use the report in reviewing, updating, and creating baccalaureate IT degree programs worldwide.
Sabin, Mihaela C., Wendy DuBow, Adrienne Smith, and Rosabel Deloge. 2018. “Creative Computing Challenge: A Teacher Professional Development to Enhance Non-Computing Career and Technical Education Curriculum with Engaging Computational Practices for All Students (Poster Abstract)”. in Conference for Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology. Publisher's Version Abstract
The Creative Computing Challenge (CCC) project (2014-2018) is funded by the National Science Foundation and is designed to broaden participation in computing by providing professional development (PD) for high school teachers at Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs throughout the state of New Hampshire. Teachers receive a stipend and tablets for their classrooms; they attend several in-person PD sessions through the year, where master teachers and PD facilitators introduce modeling of inquiry and equity-based practices, as well as teach the App Inventor tool and how to inculcate computational thinking in students. Project evaluation has included teacher interviews, classroom and PD observations, as well as student and teacher surveys. External evaluation of this project has been an integral part of the project from the beginning and, along with the project team’s observations and input, has significantly reshaped the project activities. It became clear after the first year that a central challenge of this project would be working with a mix of teachers across multiple domains – from teachers who had little experience even using computers to teachers who had computer science degrees; from teachers who came to teaching from professional backgrounds to those who had education degrees; and from beginning teachers to those who had been teaching the same courses for twenty years. Through evaluation data and really listening to teacher feedback, we not only tailored the PD content and structure, but also refined the data collection instruments and evaluation design to bridge the gap between different teacher experiences and levels of preparation. As a result, we have been able to bring computing into non-technical content areas such as Hospitality and nonprogramming classes such as Photography, as well as support computing educations in New Hampshire CTE programs. In Year 4, we now better understand the range of benefits and challenges involved in working with CTE programs and inserting CCC-inspired curricular modules in non-computing courses.
Sabin, Mihaela C. 2018. “Implementing a Competency-Based Information Technology Curriculum: Challenges and Opportunities (Poster Abstract)”. in ITiCSE '18: Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Proceedings. Publisher's Version Abstract
ACM and IEEE Computer Society released new curriculum guidelines for baccalaureate degree programs in Information Technology, also known as the IT2017 report. Built on the foundation of the first ACM/IEEE IT2008 report, the new report, published in December 2017, stands out by its focus on employer-informed competencies that IT graduates should have in order to meet technological challenges of the workplace in the next decade. This poster highlights elements of the IT2017 curricular framework that help academic departments apply a competency-based approach to IT program development. Although competencies are prevalent in many areas of professional practice, placing competencies at the center of IT curriculum development requires rethinking of how we design learning environments in which students achieve IT competencies. In this poster I present some challenges with implementing the IT2017 curricular framework and discuss opportunities for turning the IT2017 report into a living document that learns from IT programs' implementation experiences.
Sabin, Mihaela C., John Impagliazzo, Hala Alrumaih, Cara Tang, and Ming Zhang. 2018. “IT2017 Report: Implementing A Competency-Based Information Technology Program (Panel)”. in SIGCSE '18: The 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education Proceedings. Publisher's Version Abstract
ACMand IEEE have developed a computing curriculum report titled Information Technology Curricular 2017: Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Technology, also known as IT2017 [4]. The development of this report has received content contributions from industry and academia through surveys as well as many international conferences and workshops. Open online publication of the report became available in fall of 2017. In this special session, �ve members of the IT2017 executive committee will present a digest of the content of the report, describe the proposed IT curricular framework, and facilitate open and vigorous discussion of the report's guidelines for developing new information technology programs or enhancing existing ones. The novelty of the report is its focus on industry-informed competencies that IT graduates should have to meet the growing demands of a changing technological world in the next decade. The experience should provide a better understanding of IT in a modern age.
Alrumaih, Hala, Mihaela C. Sabin, and John Impagliazzo. 2018. “An Overview of the New ACM/IEEE Information Technology Curricular Framework”. in 2018 IEEE World Engineering Education Conference. Publisher's Version Abstract
ACM and IEEE have developed a curricular report titled, “Information Technology Curricula 2017: Curriculum Guidelines for Baccalaureate Degree Programs in Information Technology,” known also as IT2017. The development of this report has received worldwide content contributions from industry and academia through surveys as well as many international conferences and workshops. An open online publication of the report was made available in December 2017. This paper presents a digest of the content of the report, the IT curricular framework, and suggestions for its use in developing new information technology programs or enhancing existing ones. The heart of the IT curricular framework is a set of competencies identified through knowledge, skills, and dispositions, as supported by pedagogical research. The paper also describes ways in which institutions could use the curricular framework not only to develop information technology degree programs, but also to improve and enhance related computing programs.
Sabin, Mihaela C., et al. 2018. “Representative Names of Computing Degree Programs Worldwide”. in ACE 2018: 20th Australasian Computing Education Conference. Publisher's Version Abstract
Through the auspices of ACM and with support from the IEEE Computer Society, a task group charged to prepare the IT2017 report conducted an online international survey of computing faculty members about their undergraduate degree programs in computing. The purpose of this survey was to clarify the breadth of and disparities in nomenclature used by diverse communities in the computing field, where a word or phrase can mean different things in different computing communities. This paper examines the English-language words and phrases used to name the computing programs of almost six hundred survey respondents, and the countries in which those names are used. Over eight hundred program names analysed in this paper reveal six program names that together account for more than half of all program names. The paper goes on to consider possible correspondence between reported program names and the five areas of computing identified by the ACM. Names such as computer science and information technology appear to dominate, but with different meanings, while the names of other computing disciplines show clear geographic preferences. Convergence towards a very small number of highly representative program names in computing education worldwide might be deceptive. The paper calls for further examination and international collaborations to align program names with program curriculum content.
2017
Sabin, Mihaela C., Svetlana Peltsverger, Bill Paterson, Ming Zhang, and Hala Alrumaih. 2017. “IT2017 Report: Putting It to Work”. in SIGITE '17 Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education. Publisher's Version Abstract
IT2017 report is the second edition of the ACM/IEEE-CS Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Programs in Information Technology. The report is scheduled to replace its predecessor, the IT2008 report, by the end of this year. A twelvemember diverse task group has worked diligently to make revisions and produce an appropriately forward looking document that is globally relevant and balances perspectives from educators, practitioners, and IT professionals. The novelty of the report is its focus on industry-informed competencies that IT graduates should have to meet the growing demands of a changing technological world in the next decade. Key to the effectiveness of the report’s guidelines are implementation decisions that take into account program goals and resources, institutional missions, and local contexts. The panel will elicit productive conversations around how to effectively implement the IT2017 curriculum framework in educational institutions around the world.
Raj, Rajendra K., Jim Leone, Allen Parrish, and Mihaela C. Sabin. 2017. “Rebooting Information Technology Programs: Panel”. in SIGITE '17 Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education. Publisher's Version Abstract
The continuing worldwide demand for a diverse, competent, computing workforce has had a major impact on undergraduate information technology (IT) education. New degree programs in IT have been created and existing IT programs have been recreated. The enormity of the demand for IT graduates, as well as societal pressures, require such rebooted IT programs to attract a diverse student body. The panelists will describe their experiences and present different perspectives toward rebooting IT education to handle technological changes, to ensure competent graduates via program accreditation, and to address issues of diversity and inclusion.
Leblanc, Christopher D., Mihaela C. Sabin, and Christopher Dundorf. 2017. “An engineering technology capstone project: The snow load network”. 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. Publisher's Version Abstract
The goal was to develop a solar powered remote network of sensors that could be installed on a building’s roof. The purpose of this network is to measure the characteristics of the roof’s snow load. For the experimental installation, mobile applications were developed to monitor the network’s data stream and issue warnings of possible hazardous structural conditions. The original prototype used open-source programmable microcontrollers that supported wireless communication and global positioning systems (GPS). The resulting systems were evaluated and tested. Several follow on revisions were developed to optimize the power budget and casing into a commercial product that could be manufactured at a competitive price point. The project provided students a significant technical challenge, was funded, supported faculty scholarship, and helped a small company successfully launch a new commercial product.
Sabin, Mihaela C., Rosabel Deloge, Adrienne Smith, and Wendy DuBow. 2017. “Summer learning experience for girls in grades 7–9 boosts confidence and interest in computing careers”. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges. Publisher's Version Abstract
Academic exposure to computer science, encouragement to study computer science, and connecting personal interests to computing areas influence women to pursue degrees in computer science. Guided by these recommendations, we designed and offered a summer learning experience for girls in grades 7–9 in summer 2016. The goal of the program was to improve girls' perceptions of learning computer science through academic exposure in the informal setting of a girls-only summer camp. In this paper we present a study of the girls' perceptions of CS learning. Four constructs were used to develop pre- and post-survey items: computing confidence, intent to persist, social supports, and computing outcomes expectations. The camp appeared to have positively influenced the girls on two of the four constructs, by improving computing confidence and positive perceptions of computing careers.
2016
Impagliazzo, John, et al. 2016. “Latin American perspectives and the IT2017 curricular guidelines”. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. Publisher's Version Abstract
The term "information technology" has many meanings for various stakeholders and continues to evolve. This discussion presents an overview of the developing curricular guidelines for rigorous, high quality, bachelor's degree programs in information technology (IT), called IT2017. Panel participants will focus on Latin American academic and industry perspectives on IT undergraduate education. Discussion will seek to ascertain commonalities and differences between the current draft IT2017 report and perspectives from Latino/a professional and academic communities. It also addresses ways in which this endeavor contrasts with current practices in Latin America industry and academia.
Sabin, Mihaela C., et al. 2016. “Latin American perspectives to internationalize undergraduate information technology education”. Proceedings of the 2016 ITiCSE Working Group Reports. Publisher's Version Abstract
The computing education community expects modern curricular guidelines for information technology (IT) undergraduate degree programs by 2017. The authors of this work focus on eliciting and analyzing Latin American academic and industry perspectives on IT undergraduate education. The objective is to ensure that the IT curricular framework in the IT2017 report articulates the relationship between academic preparation and the work environment of IT graduates in light of current technological and educational trends in Latin America and elsewhere. Activities focus on soliciting and analyzing survey data collected from institutions and consortia in IT education and IT professional and educational societies in Latin America; these activities also include garnering the expertise of the authors. Findings show that IT degree programs are making progress in bridging the academic-industry gap, but more work remains.
Sabin, Mihaela C., Svetlana Peltsverger, Cara Tang, and Barry M. Lunt. 2016. “ACM/IEEE-CS information technology curriculum 2017: A status update”. Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education. Publisher's Version Abstract
The IT2008 Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Technology has been showing its age, and in 2014, the ACM Education Board agreed to oversee the creation of a revision, now being referred to as IT2017. Much progress has been made, and a version 0.6 will be ready by Oct 2016. All proposed panel members are members of the IT2017 Task Group.
Russell, Ingrid, Karen H. Jin, and Mihaela C. Sabin. 2016. “Make and learn: A CS Principles course based on the Arduino platform”. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. Publisher's Version Abstract
We present preliminary experiences in designing a Computer Science Principles undergraduate course for all majors that is based on physical computing with the Arduino microprocessor platform. The course goal is to introduce students to fundamental computing concepts in the context of developing concrete products. This physical computing approach is different from other existing CS Principles courses. Students use the Arduino platform to design tangible interactive systems that are personally and socially relevant to them, while learning computing concepts and reflecting on their experiences. In a previous publication [1], we reported on assessment results of using the Arduino platform in an Introduction to Digital Design course. We have introduced this platform in an introductory computing course at the University of Hartford in the past year as well as in a Systems Fundamentals Discovery Course at the University of New Hampshire to satisfy the general education requirements in the Environment, Technology, and Society category. Our goal is to align the current curriculum with the CS Principles framework to design a course that engages a broader audience through a creative making and contextualized learning experience.
Sabin, Mihaela C., Paul Snow, and John Impagliazzo. 2016. “Towards the internationalization of curriculum guidelines for undergraduate IT degree programs”. Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference. Publisher's Version Abstract
The computing education community expects updated curriculum guidelines for undergraduate information technology degree programs by 2017. Through the auspices of the Association Computing Machinery, a task group preparing the IT2017 report conducted a self-administered web-hosted international survey of computing faculty members about their four-year information technology degree programs. The current paper’s authors, with the cooperation of the task group, accessed the survey’s almost six hundred responses. The paper examines respondents’ preferences in curriculum content, curriculum configuration, and pathways for student transfer into four-year programs, and English-language computing terms used in program names. We compare responses from the United States with responses from other countries and present findings that could inform the IT2017 project.
Impagliazzo, John, Mihaela C. Sabin, and Hala Alrumaih. 2016. “An information technology competency model and curriculum”. Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), 2016 IEEE. Publisher's Version Abstract
This paper addresses the progress made by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) in developing a competency model and curricular guidelines for four-year degree programs in information technology. The authors are members of an international task group representative of academic institutions, industry, and professional organizations. The task group is to develop a competency model, called IT2017, for information technology education within two years based on earlier guidelines and other perspectives. This paper provides a brief background of the project, some activities undertaken, the progress made, and expectations for future developments. IT2017 seeks to produce a futuristic model of academic excellence so information technology graduates will be prepared for new technological challenges in a global economy.
Academic and industry collaborations can help improve computing curricula and student learning experiences. Such collaborations are formally encouraged by accreditation standards. Through the auspices of ACM and IEEE-CS, the IT2017 task group is updating curriculum guidelines for information technology undergraduate degree programs, similar to the regular updates for other computing disciplines. The task group surveyed curriculum preferences of both faculty and industry. The authors, with the group's cooperation, compare US faculty and US industry preferences in mathematics, IT knowledge areas, and student workplace skill sets. Faculty and industry share common ground, which supports optimism about their productive collaboration, but are also distinct enough to justify the effort of actively coordinating with each other.
2015
Sabin, Mihaela C., Paul Snow, and Mary Laturnau. 2015. “Evaluation of a computing and engineering outreach program for girls in grades 8–10”. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges 30 (6):119–26. Abstract
An outreach program of workshops and guided group activities for New Hampshire's eighth, ninth and tenth grade girls was offered to stimulate the girls' interest in computing and engineering coursework and careers. Attitude changes before and after participation were measured using a survey instrument adapted from one developed by the Georgia Tech's Institute for Computing and Education. Eight attitudinal themes were surveyed. With suitable adjustments for simultaneous testing of multiple hypotheses, statistically significant changes with moderate effect sizes were detected for three of the themes: enjoyment of technology-related activities, motivation to succeed in technical problem solving, and intention to persist in computing and engineering courses and careers.
MacKellar, Bonnie K., Gregory Hislop, Mihaela C. Sabin, and Amber Settle. 2015. “Information technology and computer science programs: How do we relate?”. Proceedings of the 16th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education. Publisher's Version Abstract
In this panel session, the relationship between computer science programs and information technology programs at universities that house both will be explored. People outside the computing disciplines often find the distinction between these programs confusing. The panelists, who have experience with both types of program, will discuss strategies for differentiating the programs in the eyes of administrators, for advising students into the correct program, and for maintaining focus and excellence in both computer science and information technology programs.
Sabin, Mihaela C., et al. 2015. “Multinational perspectives on information technology from academia and industry”. Proceedings of the 2015 ITiCSE on Working Group Reports. Publisher's Version Abstract
As the term 'information technology' has many meanings for various stakeholders and continues to evolve, this work presents a comprehensive approach for developing curriculum guidelines for rigorous, high quality, bachelor's degree programs in information technology (IT) to prepare successful graduates for a future global technological society. The aim is to address three research questions in the context of IT concerning (1) the educational frameworks relevant for academics and students of IT, (2) the pathways into IT programs, and (3) graduates' preparation for meeting future technologies. The analysis of current trends comes from survey data of IT faculty members and professional IT industry leaders. With these analyses, the IT Model Curricula of CC2005, IT2008, IT2017, extensive literature review, and the multinational insights of the authors into the status of IT, this paper presents a comprehensive overview and discussion of future directions of global IT education toward 2025.

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