Research

My research interests lie in improving the university learning experience through adoption of evidence-based instructional practices - notably Peer Instruction.  More generally, I am interested in the measurement and documentation of student learning outcomes - measured longitudinally throughout their university experience.

Peer Instruction (in Computer Science)

Peer Instruction is a specifically defined instructional methodology which supports a student-centered learning environment.

Originally, developed by Harvard physicist Eric Mazur, the underpinnings of Peer Instruction implement what can be termed a "flipped" classroom -- where students prepare by learning some basic materials before lecture and lecture sessions are structured to enable students to deepen and clarify their understanding.

The "peer" part of Peer Instruction refers to the process by which students 
1) Individually work a challenging question (which is often answered with a clicker).
2) Discuss the question with a group of students around them - explaining their thinking.
3) Re-answer the question
4) Participate in a class-wide discussion managed by the instructor.

 
Beth Simon, Sarah Esper, Leo Porter, Quintin Cutts. Student Experience in a Student-Centered Peer Instruction Classroom. In  
Proceedings of the International Computing Education Research Conference, August, 2013.

Leo Porter and Beth Simon. Retaining Nearly One-Third more Majors with a Trio of Instructional Best Practices in CS1. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, Best Paper Award. March 2013.

Jaime Spacco, Julian Parris, Beth Simon. How We Teach Impacts Student Learning: Peer Instruction vs. Lecture in CS0. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2013.

Leo Porter, Cynthia Bailey-Lee, and Beth Simon. Halving Fail Rates using Peer Instruction: A Study of Four Computer Science Courses. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2013.

Sarah Esper, Beth Simon, and Quintin Cutts. Exploratory Homeworks: An Active Learning Tool for Textbook Reading. In Proceedings of the Eighth International Computing Education Research Conference, September, 2012.

Quintin Cutts, Sarah Esper, Marlena Fecho, Stephen Foster, and Beth Simon. The Abstraction Transition Taxonomy: Developing Desired Learning Outcomes through the Lens of Situated Cognition. In Proceedings of the Eighth International Computing Education Research Conference, September, 2012.

Beth Simon and Quintin Cutts. Peer Instruction: a teaching method to foster deep understanding.  Communications of the ACM, Vol. 55(2), Feb. 2012. 

Quintin Cutts, Sarah Esper and Beth Simon. Computing as the 4th “R”: A General Education Approach to Computing Education. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Computing Education Research Workshop, August, 2011.

Leo Porter, Cynthia Bailey-Lee, Beth Simon and Daniel Zingaro. Peer Instruction: Do Students Really Learn from Peer Discussion in Computing? In Proceedings of the Seventh International Computing Education Research Workshop, August, 2011.

Leo Porter, Cynthia Bailey Lee, Beth Simon, Quintin Cutts, Daniel Zingaro. Experience report: a multi-classroom report on the value of peer instruction. In Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), 2011.

Beth Simon, Michael Kohanfars, Jeff Lee, Karen Tamayo, Quintin Cutts. Experience Report: Peer Instruction in Introductory Computing. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2010.


Commonsense Computing

Tammy VanDeGrift, Dennis Bouvier, Tzu-Yi Chen, Gary Lewandowski, Robert McCartney, and Beth Simon. Commonsense Computing (episode 6): Logic is Harder than Pie. In Proceedings of the 10th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, November, 2010. 

Dennis Bouvier, Tzu-Yi Chen, Gary Lewandowski, Robert McCartney, Kate Sanders, Beth Simon and Tammy VanDeGrift. Commonsense Understanding of Concurrency: Computing Students and Concert Tickets. Communications of the ACM. July 2010. 

Robert McCartney, Dennis Bouvier, Tzu-Yi Chen, Gary Lewandowski, Kate Sanders, Beth Simon and Tammy VanDeGrift. Commonsense Computing (episode 5): Algorithm Efficiency and Balloon Testing. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Computing Education Research Workshop, August, 2009.

Beth Simon, Dennis Bouvier, Tzu-Yi Chen, Gary Lewandowski, Robert McCartney, Kate Sanders.  Commonsense Computing: (Episode 4): Debugging. In Journal of Computer Science Education, Special Issue on Debugging by Novice Programmers. Ray Lister guest editor, 18(2) 117-133. 

Gary Lewandowski, Dennis J. Bouvier, Robert McCartney, Kate Sanders, Beth Simon.  Commonsense Computing (episode 3): Concurrency and Concert Tickets.  In Proceedings of the Third International Computing Education Research Workshop, September, 2007.

Tzu-Yi Chen, Gary Lewandowski, Robert McCartney, Kate Sanders, Beth Simon. Commonsense Computing: Using student sorting abilities to improve instruction. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2007.

Beth Simon, Tzu-Yi Chen, Gary Lewandowski, Robert McCartney, Kate Sanders. Commonsense Computing: What students know before we teach (Episode 1: Sorting). In Proceedings of the Second International Computing Education Research Workshop, September, 2006.

CS1-Related Work

Leo Porter, Mark Guzdial, Charlie McDowell, Beth Simon. Success in Introductory Programming: What Works? In Communications of the ACM Vol. 56 (8) August, 2013.

Self Efficacy and Self Theories

Paivi Kinnunen and Beth Simon. My program is OK – am I? Computing freshmen's experiences of doing programming assignments.  In Journal of Computer Science Education. 22(1), 1-28, 2012. 

Päivi Kinnunen and Beth Simon. CS Majors’ Self-Efficacy Perceptions in CS1: Results in Light of Social Cognitive Theory. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Computing Education Research Workshop, August, 2011.

Päivi Kinnunen and Beth Simon. Experiencing Programming Assignments in CS1: The Emotional Toll. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Computing Education Research Workshop, August, 2010.

Beth Simon, Brian Hanks, Laurie Murphy, Sue Fitzgerald, Renée McCauley, Lynda Thomas and Carol Zander. Saying Isn't Necessarily Believing: Influencing Self-theories in Computing. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Computing Education Research Workshop, September, 2008.

Media Computation

Beth Simon, Paivi Kinnunen, Leo Porter, Dov Zazkis. Experience Report: CS1 for Majors with Media Computation. In Proceedings of the 15th Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), 2010.

Other
Tammy VanDeGrift, Tamara Caruso, Natalie Hill, Beth Simon. Experience Report: Getting Novice Programmers to THINK about Improving their Software Development Process. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2011.

Michael Stepp and Beth Simon. Introductory Computing Students' Concepts of Illegal Student-Student Collaboration. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2010.

Beth Simon, Brian Hanks, Renee McCauley, Briana Morrison, Laurie Murphy and Carol Zander, For Me, Programming Is .... In Proceedings of the Fifth International Computing Education Research Workshop, August, 2009.

Carol Zander, Lynda Thomas, Beth Simon, Laurie Murphy, Renée McCauley, Brian Hanks, Sue Fitzgerald. Learning styles: novices decide. In Proceedings of the 14th Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), 2009.

Brian Hanks, Laurie Murphy, Beth Simon, Renée McCauley, Carol Zander. CS1 students speak: advice for students by students. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2009.

Beth Simon and Brian Hanks. First Year Students’ Impressions of Pair Programming in CS1.  In Proceedings of the Third International Computing Education Research Workshop, September, 2007.

Tzu-Yi Chen, Alvaro Monge, Beth Simon. Relationship of Early Programming Language to Novice Generated Design. In Proceedings of the 37th Annual SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, pages 495-499, February 2006.

Sue Fitzgerald, Beth Simon, Lynda Thomas. Strategies that students use to trace code: an analysis based in grounded theory. In Proceedings of the 2005 International Workshop on Computing Education Research, pages 69-80, October 2005.

Debugging

Sue Fitzgerald, Renée McCauley, Brian Hanks, Laurie Murphy, Beth Simon, and Carol Zander. Debugging From the Student Perspective. IEEE Transactions on Education, Transactions on Engineering Education, Vol. 53 (3), 390-396., August 2010.

Beth Simon, Dennis Bouvier, Tzu-Yi Chen, Gary Lewandowski, Robert McCartney, Kate Sanders.  Commonsense Computing: (Episode 4): Debugging. In Journal of Computer Science Education, Special Issue on Debugging by Novice Programmers. Ray Lister guest editor, 18(2) 117-133. 

Sue Fitzgerald, Gary Lewandowski, Renee McCauley, Laurie Murphy, Beth Simon, Lynda Thomas, Carol Zander. Debugging: Finding, Fixing, and Flailing, A Multi-Institutional Study of Novice Debuggers. In Journal of Computer Science Education, Special Issue on Debugging by Novice Programmers. Ray Lister guest editor, 18(2) 93-116. 

Renee McCauley, Sue Fitzgerald, Gary Lewandowski, Laurie Murphy, Beth Simon, Lynda Thomas, Carol Zander. Debugging: A Review of the Literature from an Educational PerspectiveIn Journal of Computer Science Education, Special Issue on Debugging by Novice Programmers. Ray Lister guest editor, 18(2) 67-92. 

Laurie Murphy, Gary Lewandowski, Renee McCauley, Beth Simon, Lynda Thomas, Carol Zander. Debugging: The good, the bad and the quirky – a qualitative analysis of novices strategies. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2008.

Ubiquitous Presenter

Beth Simon, Elizabeth Bales, William G. Griswold, Stephen Cooper. Case Study: Faculty Professional Development Workshops for Innovation Diffusion. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2011.

Edward Price and Beth Simon.  Ubiquitous Presenter: A Tablet PC-based System to Support Instructors and Students, The Physics Teacher, 47 (9), 570-573, December 2009.

Elizabeth Bales, William Griswold, Beth Simon, Aaron Hieber, Michael J. Kelly, James Lintern, and David Ouyang. Use of Ubiquitous Presenter: 2006-2009. Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on the Impact of Pen Technologies in Education, October 2009

Beth Simon, Krista Davis, William G. Griswold, Michael Kelly, Roshni Malani. NoteBlogging: Taking Note Taking Public. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2008.

K. M. Davis, Michael Kelly, Roshni Malani, William G. Griswold, Beth Simon. Preliminary Evaluation of NoteBlogger: Public Note-taking in the Classroom. In Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on the Impact of Pen Technologies in Education, June 2007.

Edward Price and Beth Simon. Instructor Inking in Physics Classes with Ubiquitous Presenter. In Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on the Impact of Pen Technologies in Education, June 2007.

Edward Price and Beth Simon. A Survey to Assess the Impact of Tablet PC-based Active Learning: Preliminary Report and Lessons Learned. In Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on the Impact of Pen Technologies in Education, June 2007

David Lindquist, Tamara Denning, Michael Kelly, Roshni Malani, William G. Griswold, Beth Simon. Exploring the Potential of Mobile Phones for Active Learning in the Classroom. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2007.

Tamara Denning, Michael Kelly, David Lindquist, Roshni Malani, William G. Griswold, Beth Simon. Lightweight Preliminary Peer Review: Does in-class peer review make sense? In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2007.

Edward Price, Roshni Malani, and Beth Simon. Characterization of Instructor and Student Use of Ubiquitous Presenter, a Presentation System Enabling Spontaneity and Digital Archiving. 2006 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Conference Proceedings Vol. 883, pp. 125-128.

William G. Griswold and Beth Simon. Ubiquitous Presenter: fast, scalable active learning for the whole classroom. In Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), June 2006. 

Erik Buchanan, Tamara Denning, Michael Kelly, David Lindquist, William G. Griswold, Beth Simon. Technology-enabled active learning: What to do in large classrooms with few devices? In Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Pacific Southwest Section Conference, April 2006.

Richard Anderson, Ruth Anderson, Oliver Chung, K. M. Davis, Peter Davis, Craig Prince, Valentin Razmov and Beth Simon. Classroom presenter - a classroom interaction system for active and collaborative learning. In Proceedings of the Workshop on the Impact of Pen Technologies in Education, pages 21-30, March 2006.

Tamara Denning, William Griswold, Beth Simon and Michelle Wilkerson. Multimodal communication in the classroom: what does it mean for us? In Proceedings of the 37th Annual SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, pages 219-223, February 2006.

Richard Anderson, Ruth Anderson, Luke McDowell, Beth Simon. Use of classroom presenter in engineering courses. In Proceedings of the 35th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, pages 13-18, October 2005.

Michelle Wilkerson, Bill Griswold, Beth Simon. Ubiquitous presenter: increasing student access and control in an digital lecturing environment. In Proceedings of the 36th Annual SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, pages 116-120, February 2005.

Beth Simon, Ruth Anderson, Crystal Hoyer and Jonathan Su. Preliminary experiences with a tablet PC based system to support active learning in computer science courses. In Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), pages 213-217, June 2004.

Richard Anderson, Ruth Anderson, Beth Simon, Steven A. Wolfman, Tammy VanDeGrift, and Ken Yasuhara. Experiences with a tablet PC based lecture presentation system in computer science courses. In Proceedings of the 35th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, pages 56-60, March 2004.

Richard Anderson, Ruth Anderson, Crystal Hoyer, Beth Simon, Fred Videon, and Steve Wolfman. Lecture presentation from the Tablet PC. Workshop on Advanced Collaborative Environments (WACE) pages 8-15, June 2003.

Beth Simon, Richard Anderson, and Steven Wolfman. Activating computer architecture with classroom presenter. 10th Workshop on Computer Architecture Education, pages 64-71, June 2003.

Exam Question/Assessment Studies

Beth Simon, Mike Clancy, Robert McCartney, Briana Morrison, Brad Richards and Kate Sanders. Making sense of data structures exams. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Computing Education Research Workshop, August, 2010.

Judy Sheard, Angela Carbone, Raymond Lister, Beth Simon, Errol Thompson, Jacqueline L. Whalley. Going SOLO to Assess Novice Programmers. In Proceedings of 13th Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), June 2008.

Raymond Lister, Beth Simon, Errol Thompson, Jacqueline Whalley, Christine Prasad. Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Novice Programmers and the SOLO Taxonomy. In Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), pages 118-122, 2006.

Errol Thompson, Jacqueline Whalley, Raymond Lister, Beth Simon. Code classification as a learning and assessment exercise for novice programmers. In Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications, 2006.

Ray Lister (chair), William Fone, Robert McCartney, Otto Seppälä, Elizabeth S. Adams, John Hamer, Jan Erik Moström, Beth Simon, Sue Fitzgerald, Morten Lindholm, Kate Sanders, Lynda Thomas. A multi-national study of reading and tracing skills in novice programmers. In ACM Bulletin Inroads, pages 119-150, December 2004. Invited

Other Work

CS10K
Diane Baxter and Beth Simon. Building a Partnership for Computer Science Education. Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment: Bridging from the eXtreme to the campus and beyond, July 2012.

PeerWise

Paul Denny, Brian Hanks, Beth Simon and Spencer Bagley. PeerWise: Exploring Conflicting Efficacy Studies. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Computing Education Research Workshop, August, 2011.

Paul Denny, Brian Hanks, and Beth Simon. PeerWise: Replication Study of a Student-Collaborative Self-Testing Web Service in a U.S. Setting. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2010

Paul Denny, Andrew Luxton-Reilly, Beth Simon. Quality of student contributed questions using PeerWise. In Proceedings of the Eleventh Australasian Computing Education Conference, January, 2009.

Paul Denny, Andrew Luxton-Reilly, Beth Simon. Evaluating a new exam question: Parsons problems. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Computing Education Research Workshop, September, 2008.

Novices in Industry
Andrew Begel and Beth Simon. Novice software developers, all over again. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Computing Education Research Workshop, September, 2008.

Andrew Begel and Beth Simon. Struggles of New College Graduates in their First Software Development Job. In Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Technical Symposium, March 2008.

Other
Paivi Kinnunen and Beth Simon. Phenomenography and grounded theory as research methods in computing education research field.  In Journal of Computer Science Education, Special Issue on Koli Calling 2009 and 2010.  Carsten Shulte and Jarkko Suholnen, guest editors, 22 (2), 199-218, June 2012.

Paivi Kinnunen and Beth Simon. Building Theory about Computing Education Phenomena: A Discussion of Grounded Theory.  In Proceedings of the 10th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, November, 2010. 

Beth Simon and Jared Taylor.  What is the Value of Course-Specific Learning Goals. Journal of College Science Teaching, 39(2), 52-57. 

Anders Berglund,Anna Eckerdal,  Arnold Pears,  Philip East;  Päivi Kinnunen,  Lauri Malmi,  Robert McCartney, Jan-Erik Moström,  Laurie Murphy,  Mark Ratcliffe,  Carsten Schulte, Beth Simon,  Ioanna Stamouli, and Lynda Thomas. Learning computer science: perceptions, actions and roles. European Journal of Engineering Education, 34 (4), 327-338.  

Tony Clear, Jenny Edwards, Raymond Lister, Beth Simon, Errol Thompson, Jacqueline Whalley. The teaching of novice computer programmers: bringing the scholarly-research approach to Australia. ACE '08: Proceedings of the tenth conference on Australasian computing education - Volume 78, January, 2008. 

Tammy VanDeGrift, Beth Simon, Dean Sanders, and Ken Blaha.  Do Students Recognize Ambiguity in Software Specifications? A Multi-national, Multi-institutional Report. In Software Engineering Education in the Modern Age Paola Inverardi and Mehdi Jazayeri (editors), LNCS 4309, Springer, 2006, pp. 71-88. 

Ken Blaha, Alvaro Monge, Dean Sanders, Beth Simon, Tammy VanDeGrift. Do students recognize ambiguity in software design? a multi-national, multi-institutional report. In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Software Engineering, pages 615-616, May 2005.

Josh Tenenberg, Sally Fincher, Ken Blaha, Dennis Bouvier, Tzu-Yi Chen, Donald Chinn, Stephen Cooper, Anna Eckerdal, Hubert Johnson, Robert McCartney, Alvaro Monge, Jan Erik Mostrom, Marian Petre, Kris Powers, Mark Ratcliffe, Anthony Robins, Dean Sanders, Leslie Schwartzman, Beth Simon, Carol Stoker, Allison Elliot Tew, Tammy VanDeGrift. Students designing software: a multi-national, multi-institutional study. In Informatics in Education, 4(1):143-162, May 2005. 

Sally Fincher, Marian Petre, Josh Tenenberg, Ken Blaha, Dennis Bouvier, Tzu-Yi Chen, Donald Chinn, Stephen Cooper, Anna Eckerdal, Hubert Johnson, Robert McCartney, Alvaro Monge, Jan Erik Mostrom, Kris Powers, Mark Ratcliffe, Anthony Robins, Dean Sanders, Leslie Schwartzman, Beth Simon, Carol Stoker, Allison Elliot Tew, Tammy VanDeGrift. A multi-national, multi-institutional study of student-generated software designs. 4th Annual Finnish/Baltic Sea Conference on Computer Science Education, pages 20-28, October 2004.

Non-Education Work

Xiaofeng Gao, Michael Laurenzano, Beth Simon, Allan Snavely. Reducing overheads for acquiring dynamic traces. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Workload Characterization Symposium (IISWC05), pages 46-55,October 2005.

Xiaofeng Gao, Beth Simon, Allan Snavely. ALITER: an asynchronous lightweight instrumentation tool for event recording. In ACM SIGARCH Computer Architecture News Special Issue on the 2005 Workshop on Binary Instrumentation and Applications, page 33-38, September 2005.

Michael Laurenzano, Beth Simon, Allan Snavely, Meghan Gunn. Low cost trace-driven memory simulation using SimPoint. In ACM SIGARCH Computer Architecture News Special Issue on the 2005 Workshop on Binary Instrumentation and Applications, pages 81-86, September 2005.

Beth Simon, Brad Calder, and Jeanne Ferrante. Incorporating predicate information into branch predictors. In Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA’03), pages 53-64, February 2003.

Lori Carter, Beth Simon, Brad Calder, Larry Carter, and Jeanne Ferrante. Path analysis and renaming for predicated instruction scheduling. In International Journal of Parallel Programming, 28(6):563-588, December 2000.

Lori Carter, Beth Simon, Brad Calder, Larry Carter, and Jeanne Ferrante.  Predicated Static Single Assignment. In Proceedings of the 1999 International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques, October, 1999.

Michelle Mills Strout, Larry Carter, Jeanne Ferrante, Beth Simon.  Schedule-Independent Storage Mapping for Loops.  In Proceedings of Eighth International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS),