Usability and usage of interactive features in an online ebook for cs teachers

Barbara Ericson, Steven Moore, Briana Morrison, Mark Guzdial

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


There are too few secondary school computing teachers to meet international needs for growing secondary school computing education. Our group has created an ebook to help prepare secondary teachers to teach the programming and big data concepts in the new AP Computer Science Principles course. The ebook was designed using principles from educational psychology, specifically worked examples and cognitive load. The ebook interleaves worked examples and interactive practice activities, which we believe will lead to more efficient and effective learning than more typical approaches to learning programming. This paper reports the results from initial studies of our ebook. First, we conducted a usability study comparing three different ebook platforms. Next, we conducted a study of teacher use of the ebook. Ten teachers worked through the first eight chapters of the ebook at their own pace. Five of the ten teachers completed the first eight chapters which is a 50% completion rate. Significantly, teachers who used more of the interactive features in the ebook did better on the post-tests and reported higher confidence in their ability to teach the material than teachers who used few of the interactive features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWiPSCE 2015 - Proceedings of the 10th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education
EditorsJudith Gal-Ezer, Sue Sentence, Jan Vahrenhold
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450337533
StatePublished - Nov 9 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event10th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, WiPSCE 2015 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Nov 9 2015Nov 11 2015

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Other10th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, WiPSCE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Computer science principles
  • High school teachers
  • Online education
  • Professional development
  • Secondary education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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