Responses to the survey seem to have trailed off so in the interest in having some time to reflect on the results before SIGCSE, I have prepared the attached summary of results. I go into more detail and have specific data/quotes in the summary document, but in general, the survey seems to indicate the following:
* About half of respondents are currently employed in liberal arts computing education but all identified as being engaged with it to at least some degree. About a third have been asked to or had the opportunity to represent the liberal arts computing perspective specifically within a broader discussion of computing education.
* Respondents are currently mostly discussing liberal arts CS with current students, prospective students, and faculty/staff at their own institution. This would be consistent with having these conversations in the course of other normal work interactions.
* Conversations about liberal arts computing within a broader discussion of computing education is mostly taking place at CS education conferences or workshops, at other research/professional conferences not specifically targeted at CS education, as well as less frequently in other venues such as publications, curricular task forces, presentations to graduate students, etc.
* Respondents think many of the proposed groups would benefit from access to a liberal arts computing voice. It seems that it might be particularly desirable to help reach audiences not currently being reached well: potential employers, graduate programs, education policy groups, and funding agencies.
* When asked for open-ended thoughts on the primary benefits of a permanent group discuss and advocate for a liberal arts approach to computing education, the major themes included:
- Increased visibility and awareness for liberal arts CS
- Provide a more coherent voice and a shared pool of information and arguments
- Curricular work (ACM/IEEE, AP CS Principles, etc.)
- Communication with graduate school and industry
- Attract and recruit faculty
- Educate students/families to attract (stronger, more diverse) students
- Dispel myths about liberal arts CS, including that it is "lesser"
- Share strengths about liberal arts CS approach and liberal education in general
- Make the case for a less purely tech/tech skill approach to CS ed
- Give weight to what many are currently saying in isolation
Much of the summary is assembled from what I could quickly pull out of Qualtrics, so if there is something additional we want to look for in the data I'm happy to take another pass over it. But hopefully this all provides a nice snapshot of what we have learned.
Looking forward to seeing many of you in Baltimore soon!
Dr. Amanda M. Holland-Minkley
Professor, Computing and Information Studies
Washington & Jefferson College