We are excited to announce that Rita Garcia has joined the Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER) in 2018 to undertake a PhD in Computer Science with co-supervisors Professor Katrina Falkner and Dr Rebecca Vivian.
Rita Garcia comes to the group with extensive experience in the software engineering industry. Rita has over 10 years working in the film industry as a Build and Release Engineer, starting out at Pixar Animation Studios with ‘The Incredibles’, followed by working at Weta Digital, taking part in ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy, Marvel ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, and is currently working in a global role supporting build/release, and test practices for all Method Studios offices in Sydney, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and New York City.
Rita’s PhD explores Codification Pedagogy for Introductory Procedural Programming Courses. Codification is a legal term defining the process of ordering rules corresponding to a plan, which Rita applies to Software Development to describe the ordering of program requirements into coding tasks. Codification is a meta-skill taught in advanced Software Engineering courses, however, novices lack the experience to transfer this skill to small-scale assignments, potentially contributing to poor learning behaviours. Her research investigates an approach for introductory courses, enabling novices to plan before they implement a solution using questioning techniques, best practices in assignment design and Parsons Problems. The hypothesis is that the pedagogy will reduce misconceptions about the assignment and enable students to create an ordered plan without extraneous cognitive load.
Rita has hit the ground running in her first year. She passed her first Major Review proposal with very positive feedback, won Best Demonstration at SIGCSE 2018, has submitted conferences papers and has just had her first journal paper accepted for publication in Computers & Education!
Welcome, Rita! It is fantastic to have you as a member of the CSER group!