Attracting diverse youth to computer science professions is important to our national interests and to provide economic opportunity. We engage high school students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in a remote video game design and software development summer camp.
Through teamwork activities, participating youth develop and practice communication and collaboration skills while growing their professional knowledge and skills to prepare them for potential careers in computer science.
Embedding student learning in a virtual summer camp environment provides participating high schoolers with the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills for remote work, which is increasingly common in computer science careers.
Over the past three summers, our dedicated EdASE team has been hosting innovative virtual camps, inviting young autistic talents to explore the exciting world of video game development. Our primary aim has always been to unlock and nurture these students' potential in this dynamic field.
But our mission doesn’t stop there. These camps serve a dual purpose - they are also a hub of pioneering research into autism and computer science education. Already, we've witnessed the transformative effect these camps can have on students' communication and collaboration skills, both crucial in the realm of computer science and often challenging areas for autistic learners.
As we continue our journey, our mission remains twofold: to make computer science a truly inclusive field for neurodivergent individuals, and to contribute meaningfully to the body of research in this area. But we cannot do this alone. We need you!
Together, let's make strides in empowering autistic talent in the world of game development and push the boundaries of inclusive education research. Join us on this journey.
Participation in EdASE Research
By giving permission for your child to engage in the research activities at our camp, you're supporting our efforts to advance the field of computer science education tailored for neurodiverse individuals. Participation in research activities won't alter your child's camp experience. Most likely, they may not even recall the research component of the camp. Feedback collection, a part of the overall camp experience, occurs at the end of the camp from every student in a group setting. This allows us to enhance the camp experience in the future.
When you consent to your child participating in the research activities, you're simply permitting us to incorporate their anonymized feedback in our publications and to consider any other relevant insights we gather from camp recordings, such as anonymous quotes indicating improvements in communication skills.
If you're unsure about allowing your child to participate in the research aspect of EdASE, or if you have any queries or concerns about our research methods at EdASE, please don't hesitate to contact us!
Moster, M., Kokinda, E., Re, M., Dominic, J., Lehmann, J., Begel, A., Rodeghero, P. "'Can You Help Me?' An Experience Report of Teamwork in a Game Coding Camp for Autistic High School Students", to appear in Proc. of the 44th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering - Software Engineering Education and Training Track (ICSE SEET '22), Pittsburgh, PA, USA, May 21-29, 2022.
Begel, A., Dominic, J., Phillis, C., Beeson, T., Rodeghero, P. "How a Remote Video Game Coding Camp Improved Autistic College Students' Self-Efficacy in Communication", in Proc. of the 51st Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE’21), Toronto, Canada, March 13-20, 2021.
The Accessible Computer Science Education Fall Workshop Invited Talk at Microsoft: "How a Remote Video Game Coding Camp Improved Autistic College Students' Self-Efficacy in Communication" (November 2020)
This material is based upon work supported by the National Foundation under grant ITEST-2148720. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.