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SICSA Education Event: “Evaluating the Sense of Belonging of Undergraduate Computing Students in the UK and Ireland – an invitation to collaborate”.

4 October 2023 @ 10:30 am - 1:00 pm

SICSA Education is delighted to be supporting the launch of the University of Edinburgh Computer Science Education (CSE) group. There will also be a keynote talk on “Evaluating the Sense of Belonging of Undergraduate Computing Students in the UK and Ireland – an invitation to collaborate”. 

Both the keynote and the event as a whole is open to anyone in Scotland and beyond with an interest in the intersection of education and computer science.

For more information and registration details, please see https://www.tickettailor.com/events/computerscienceeducation/1012242If you choose to attend remotely a link to be sent upon registration

Keynote Session Abstract:
During this presentation, we will introduce our plans for our forthcoming collaborative project – which we are running as a RIPPA (Research in Practice Project Activity), a year-long multi-institute research project, part of the UKICER (UK and Ireland Computing Education Research) programme. As well as sharing our plans with the community, we are looking to engage those interested in collaborating as part of this project from institutions across the country.

Sense of Belonging, or belongingness, is an individual’s personal conviction regarding their acceptance as a valued member within an academic community. The significance of student belongingness lies in its correlation with various outcomes including motivation, persistence, mental health and well-being. However, the experience of belongingness is subject to variations influenced by factors such as race/ethnicity and gender. Previous research has demonstrated notable statistical differences in the belongingness experienced by computing students who identify as women or as part of other minoritized groups.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we observed a decline in belongingness among male and female students who do not identify as minoritised, while an increase was observed among women who identify as minoritised. Although students have returned to campus, current surveys reveal that the belongingness levels among men and women who do not identify as minoritised have not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, a statistically significant decrease in belongingness is observed among men who identify as minoritised. This emphasizes the necessity for continued efforts to restore student belongingness to its pre-pandemic state and shed light on the positive impact that moving to a virtual environment appeared to have on sense of belonging of minoritised women.

We have been studying the sense of belonging of undergraduate students in the School of Computer Science at University College Dublin since 2017, and at the University of Edinburgh since 2021. We have recently extended this work across Ireland and Northern Ireland, and would now like to expand further across Scotland and into Wales and England. We invite interested parties to participate in our RIPPA (Research in Practice Project Activity), a year long project starting in Autumn 2023.


4 October 2023
10:30 am - 1:00 pm
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