Research publications

These are our recent external and internal research publications. If you have any difficulties getting hold of them, please contact Where the published version is not open access, we have provided the author copy.



An online platform for teaching upper secondary school computer science

This paper describes the Isaac Computer Science platform. The platform includes content and questions to support the teaching of A level computer science (a two-year upper secondary school qualification). The paper reviews design decisions made in developing this resource and suggests a generic platform pedagogy matrix.

Waite, J., Franceschini, A., Sentance, S., Sharkey, J., & Patterson, M. (2021). Proceedings of UKICER 2021, 3.

Paperpresentation slides, and video presentation


Female pupils’ attitudes to computing in early adolescence

In this paper, we measured attitudes towards computing amongst female students aged 10–14 and found that they reported less positive attitudes compared with their male peers. Female students in mixed-sex schools reported lower feelings of belonging compared to those in single-sex schools.

Leonard, H.C., Quinlan, O., & Sentance, S. (2021). Proceedings of UKICER 2021, 5.

Paperpresentation slides, and video presentation


Teachers’ perspectives on talk in the programming classroom: language as a mediator

This paper investigates the ways in which programming teachers use classroom talk to support learning, and proposes a model to frame our understanding of this element of programming lessons.

Sentance, S., & Waite, J. (2021). Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research, 266–280.

Paperpresentation slides, and video presentation


Computing skills, beliefs and identities in young people from underserved communities

This paper presents data from interviews with thirteen young people at risk of educational disadvantage concerning their feelings towards computing. The young people were confident in their digital skills, but did not tend to feel a sense of belonging in computing as a subject or a career.

Kunkeler, T. & Leonard, H.C. (2021). 2021 Conference on Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT), 1–5.

Author copy


Chronicling the evidence for broadening participation

A large-scale review of research testing the impact of teaching practice interventions on women’s outcomes and engagement in undergraduate computing courses.

Morrison, B., Quinn, B., Bradley, S., Buffardi, K., Harrigton, B., Hu, H., Kallia, M., McNeill, F., Ola, O., Parker, M., Rosato, J., & Waite, J. (2021). Proceedings of the 26th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education V. 2 (ITiCSE ’21), 601–602.


Understanding computing education: Volume 1. Seminar proceedings

This is a collection of chapters from the speakers of our research seminars, which took place from May to December 2020.

Raspberry Pi Foundation, April 2021. Available at:


Understanding computing education: Volume 2. Theme: Equity, diversity and inclusion in computing education research

This is a collection of chapters from the speakers of our research seminars, which took place from January to July 2021. This series focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion in computing education.

Raspberry Pi Foundation, December 2021. Available at:


Hermeneutic phenomenology in computing education research

Hermeneutic phenomenology is an approach to qualitative research focusing on the lived experiences of participants. This workshop addressed how this approach could be used in computing education.

Sentance, S. & Waite, J. (2021). Presented at UKICER, September 2021.

Workshop paper and presentation slides


The impact of sustained engagement after Picademy 

This report summarises the findings from three annual surveys of the Certified Educator community in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Dickins, J. (2021). Raspberry Pi Foundation internal report. Available at:


Teaching programming in school: A review of approaches and strategies

This review focuses on how we teach programming. Research relating to a range of pedagogical strategies is covered as well as the different contexts in which programming teaching might take place and how we can support learners.

Waite, J, & Sentance, S. (2021). Raspberry Pi Foundation research report. Available at:


The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the computing classroom

This short paper reports on some of the ways that teachers have changed the way they teach programming through the coronavirus pandemic.

Sentance, S., (2021). The Raspberry Pi Foundation. Available at:


Culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy in computing: A quick scoping review

This paper reviews recent literature on the implementation of culturally relevant and responsive computing in the classroom. It provides a theoretical background, highlights key curriculum design features, and identifies factors that positively and negatively affect the success of the teaching approaches for computing.

Leonard, H.C., & Sentance, S. (2022). International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools. In Press.


The influence of screencast and non-screencast video content on learner retention in MOOCs for computing educators

Dickins, J., Kunkeler, T., & Quinlan, O. Submitted.


Capacity for computing education in K-12 in Africa

Tshukudu, E., Adelakun-Adeyemo, O., Nyaringita, B., Zhong, Z., Quille, K., & Sentance, S. Submitted.



Physical computing: A key element of modern computer science education

This article provides an overview of physical computing and its value in the classroom, using the BBC micro:bit as an example.

Hodges, S., Sentance, S., Finney, J., & Ball, T. (2020). Computer, 53(4), 20–30.

Author copy


X-ing boundaries with physical computing

Sentance, S., & Childs, K. (2020). In S. Grover, Computer science in K-12: An A to Z handbook on teaching programming (1st ed.), pp.250–258. Edfinity.


Ideas, technology, and skills: A taxonomy for digital projects

This paper seeks to develop the understanding of how young people engage with digital making projects. It proposes a simple taxonomy for thinking about the factors that are required or must be developed in order for young people to successfully complete a digital making project.

Quinlan, O., & Sentance, S. (2020). Proceedings of the 2020 Constructionism Conference, 357–365. Available at:



The role of assessment and reward in non-formal computing settings (Work in progress)

This study is part of a larger study looking at learning outcomes in computing clubs, and has implications for others in non-formal computing settings.

Quinlan, O., Sentance, S., Dickins, J., & Cross, R. (2019). Proceedings of the 14th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, 22.


An international comparison of K-12 computer science education intended and enacted curricula

In this paper, we present findings from an international pilot study, comparing curriculum requirements (intended curriculum) captured through country reports, with what teachers identify as enacting in their classroom (the enacted curriculum).

Falkner, K., Sentance, S., Vivian, R., Barksdale, S., Busuttil, L., Cole, E., Liebe, C., Maiorana, F., McGill, M.M., & Quille, K. (2019). Proceedings of the 19th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, 4.


An international study piloting the MEasuring TeacheR Enacted Computing Curriculum (METRECC) instrument

To understand pedagogy, practice, resources, and experiences in classrooms around the world, this report presents the process of an international Working Group to develop, pilot, review and test validity and reliability of the MEasuring TeacheR Enacted Computing Curriculum (METRECC) instrument to survey teachers in K-12 schools about their implementation of computer science curricula.

Falkner, K., Sentance, S., Vivian, R., Barksdale, S., Busuttil, L., Cole, E., Liebe, C., Maiorana, F., McGill, M.M., & Quille, K. (2019). Proceedings of the Working Group Reports on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, 111–142.


Moving to mainstream: Developing computing for all

The Department for Education in England awarded an £80 million contract for a 4-year programme of development of teacher training and student resources in computing in 2018. This keynote presentation looks at how this programme can feed into the global computing education research agenda and contribute to our understanding of what computing for all children means in practice.

Sentance, S. (2019). Proceedings of the 14th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, 12.

Abstract of keynote and presentation slides


A periodic table of computing education learning theories

The periodic table is a visual arrangement of the elements to group like with like, providing insight into how families of elements will react. This paper asks: could we do the same with learning theories located in the domain of computer science education, and would it be useful?

Szabo, C., Falkner, N., Petersen, A., Bort, H., Connolly, C., Cunningham, K., Donaldson, P., Hellas, A., Robinson, J., & Sheard, J. (2019). Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, 269–270.


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