From:                                                      Kelvin Sung []

Sent:                                                        Friday, January 30, 2009 3:04 PM

To:                                                            John Nordlinger

Cc:                                                            Lee Dirks; Kelvin H. Sung

Subject:                                                  RE: Jan 2009: Progress Report on: XNA CS1-Lab Workbook



Re: XNA CS1-Lab Workbook: January 2009 Progress Report


The following is the project progress report for January 2009. In summary, our project has been progressing very well, we are proceeding to get faculty on board to critically evaluate our materials and in parallel we are  moving into deployment and initial dissemination stage. Here are the details:


1.      Workbook progress (XGC1): We have completely revamped the XNACS1Lib library to take advantage of the much simpler audio support from XNA V3. This effort is completed and we have re-release the library (Release 1.1). As part of this effort, we have also updated XGA (Release 1.1). Both of these releases are on-line and publically available.


2.      Project progress: we are designing the study for using our workbook in classes. We have put together a team consisting of: an expert in student learning (Robin Rider, Education Faculty), an expert in assessment (David Goldstein, Teaching and Learning Center), and an expert in survey design (Cinnamon Hillyard, IAS faculty). We will record audio and video of students using/learning based on working with XGC1 materials in Spring quarter in Mike Panitz’s class. The team now has regular meetings in ironing out the details for our experiment in Spring.


3.      Faculty reviewers (on hold till Feb 10): We will contact Andy Phelps and Jessica Bayliss of RIT as our faculty reviewers (and potentially Jim Whitehead of UCSC). We will wait until after Kelvin’s upcoming workshop trip to Mexico (refer to the following), before making the initial contact. Otherwise, we may run into the potential embarrassment of not able to response to invitations.


4.      Publications and Disseminations:

a.       CACM: Good news! Kelvin’s submission has been reviewed and accepted. We are now waiting from Mike Zyda to clean up his part of the article.

b.      Mexico Workshop (Feb, 2009): Thanks to Kent Foster’s introduction and Ruben Mugartegui Paulin’s diligence, Kelvin will be going to Guadalajara and offering a workshop for faculty from around the region from Feb 5-7. This three day workshop is designed to bring CS1/2 faculty on board to use XNA in their CS1/2 programming courses. We hope some of them will actually use XBOX 360 to teach CS1 after this workshop.

c.       SIGCSE Conference (March 2009): We will be presenting a panel of teaching game-themed CS1/2 classes with Scott Leutenegger, Mark Lewis, Scott Wallace, and Mike Panitz.

d.      MSR Workshop (April 2009): on April 11 we will be offering a full-day workshop (shorter version of the Mexico workshop) at MSR. Kelvin contacted local higher-Ed faculty members that teach CS1, and got 15 interests with about 10 responses from students. The goal of this workshop is to bring local faculty members on board to use XNA in teaching their introductory programming courses. We are especially interested in recruiting participants in our continual study (please refer to the discussion in 5b).

e.       FDG Cruise Conference (April 2009):

                                                               i.      Paper: Bad news, our paper submission is not successful. It is interesting that the comments from two of the reviewers were positive with recommendation for acceptance, while the last reviewer recommended a “weak reject” with almost no comments. This is rather disappointing for we do not know how to improve the paper based the last reviewer’s  judgment. We will review and refine this paper and submit it to CCSC-NW conference.

                                                             ii.      Pre-Conference Workshop: Thanks to Kent Foster’s help, this is going great. The details of the workshop is now posted on the conference web-site. We are beginning to receive registration requests (5 requests after 2 days of posting).

f.        Beijing Workshop (July 2009): this is in the early stage of planning. This workshop will be offered to faculty members from Beijing University of Technology. This workshop will be quite similar to the Mexico workshop (a 3-day workshop), with similar contents and goals. The exact dates for this workshop is still being worked out.

g.       Others: we have not heard back from our submission to ItiCSE.


5.      Future:

a.       Center for STEM Teaching Excellence proposal: We are developing plans for a center for renewing the enthusiasm of current 6-12th grade math teachers via cyber organization, and emerging technologies. This work complements the “student-learning-centric” focus of G4LI by concentrating on outreach to existing teachers. In addition, based on our experience from the on-going international workshops (to China and Mexico), we have continual interests in international outreach. We are developing proposals to MSR and Verizon Foundation (and together with in-kind support from the University of Washington, Bothell), we are seeking support to bootstrap the establishment of this center. In parallel we are developing a proposal to the ITEST program at NSF to support the continual operation of the center.  With support from MSR we will customize tools identified by teachers onto Microsoft gaming and portable devices (e.g., XBOX gaming consoles, and the Zune) and assist teachers in using these devices in their classroom teaching. In this way, when the results from the G4LI become available, the teachers will be familiar with and understand how to teach with gaming devices.

b.      Continual support for Game-Themed Introductory Programming Project: one of the important goals of the April 11th MSR workshop is to recruit participants in our continual study of developing faculty in teaching introductory programming using game-themed materials. Our target is to recruit 3-5 partners in developing a proposal to the NSF ATE program.