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Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020069

A Systematic Review Exploring the Differences in Reported Data for Pre-College Educational Activities for Computer Science, Engineering, and Other STEM Disciplines

1
Department of Engineering Education, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
2
Department of Computer Science, Knox College, Galesburg, IL 61401, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 30 March 2019
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Abstract

There has been considerable investment in pre-college educational interventions for all areas of STEM (including computer science). The goal of many of these initiatives is to engage and interest students early in their educational career. In this study, a systematic literature review was undertaken to determine the demographic and program data collected and reported for the field of computing education and for other STEM disciplines for activities that were not designed as part of the formal in-class curriculum (e.g., outreach activities). A comparison-contrast analysis of the resulting 342 articles found similarities and key differences in the reporting of this data as well as overarching characteristics of missing or incomplete reporting across disciplines. Authors from both fields reported equally well in the four categories studied: information about evaluation, participant gender, participant race and/or ethnicity, and activity demographics. However, the computing education articles were more likely to have clearly stated research questions and comparative analysis based on demographic characteristics. They were less likely to include the number of participants in the study, participant age/grade level, socioeconomic status, disability information, location of intervention, and instructor demographics. Through this analysis, it was determined that reporting can be improved across all disciplines to improve the quantity of data needed to replicate studies and to provide complete data sets that provide for the comparison of collected data. View Full-Text
Keywords: pre-college computing activities; pre-college engineering activities; pre-college STEM activities; K–12; literature review; computing outreach; engineering outreach; STEM outreach pre-college computing activities; pre-college engineering activities; pre-college STEM activities; K–12; literature review; computing outreach; engineering outreach; STEM outreach
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Decker, A.; McGill, M.M. A Systematic Review Exploring the Differences in Reported Data for Pre-College Educational Activities for Computer Science, Engineering, and Other STEM Disciplines. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 69.

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