1. Douglas Lusa Krug
  2. Research Assistant
  3. Minoritized Youth Computer Science Learning, Belonging and Career Interest: Coding and Creating with Beats
  4. https://codebeats.weebly.com/
  5. Virginia Commonwealth University
  1. Chrystalla Mouza
  2. Distinguished Professor
  3. Minoritized Youth Computer Science Learning, Belonging and Career Interest: Coding and Creating with Beats
  4. https://codebeats.weebly.com/
  5. University of Delaware
  1. Lori Pollock
  2. https://www.eecis.udel.edu/~pollock/
  3. Professor
  4. Minoritized Youth Computer Science Learning, Belonging and Career Interest: Coding and Creating with Beats
  5. https://codebeats.weebly.com/
  6. University of Delaware
  1. David Shepherd
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Minoritized Youth Computer Science Learning, Belonging and Career Interest: Coding and Creating with Beats
  4. https://codebeats.weebly.com/
  5. Virginia Commonwealth University
  1. Yifan Zhang
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  3. Minoritized Youth Computer Science Learning, Belonging and Career Interest: Coding and Creating with Beats
  4. https://codebeats.weebly.com/
  5. University of Delaware
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Douglas Lusa Krug

    Douglas Lusa Krug

    Lead Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 9, 2022 | 05:35 p.m.

    Thank you for visiting the Code Beats video. This approach has already demonstrated exciting results in motivating and engaging students in computer science in its first year. We are preparing for the following summer camp and would like to hear your feedback. We are also happy to answer any questions!

  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 09:08 a.m.

    We released an album based on the beats that the middle schoolers made during our camp. Check it out here: Code Beats Album on BandCamp

     
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    Kishau Rogers
  • Icon for: Ekundayo Shittu

    Ekundayo Shittu

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 10:06 a.m.

    Hahahaha... this is fantastic! This is a program that gets the students' interests right in their comfort zone. This is consistent with situating knowledge in the psyche of the modern student. Kudos! I voted!!

     
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    Chrystalla Mouza
    Douglas Lusa Krug
    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: Douglas Lusa Krug

    Douglas Lusa Krug

    Lead Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 10, 2022 | 01:01 p.m.

    Thanks, Ekundayo! That is precisely the point, use students' interests to show a different perspective of computer science, connecting with their already existing interests.

  • Icon for: Paige Evans

    Paige Evans

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 11:27 a.m.

    This is great and definitely a friendlier way to approach CS.  Thank you for sharing!

     
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    Chrystalla Mouza
    Douglas Lusa Krug
    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: Douglas Lusa Krug

    Douglas Lusa Krug

    Lead Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 10, 2022 | 01:06 p.m.

    Thank you, Paige!

  • Icon for: Shannon Schmoll

    Shannon Schmoll

    Informal Educator
    May 10, 2022 | 12:03 p.m.

    This is fantastic! I love it when we can find those commonalities between different areas of study. There is a youtuber named Howard Ho who analyzes music in musical theater and the breakdown is similar but from a music perspective.  This does the same but applies beyond the music to coding. So cool!

     
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    Chrystalla Mouza
    Douglas Lusa Krug
    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: Douglas Lusa Krug

    Douglas Lusa Krug

    Lead Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 10, 2022 | 01:11 p.m.

    Thanks, Shannon! I'll check Howard's channel!

  • Icon for: Emily McLeod

    Emily McLeod

    Facilitator
    Director of Teaching and Learning, Code.org
    May 10, 2022 | 09:49 p.m.

    What a fun project! I’d love to learn more about the outcomes for students—are you measuring their development of CS knowledge and/or musical knowledge? Or is the focus of the project primarily on engagement and motivation?

    I’m also wondering what lessons you’ve learned from the first camp – are you planning to make any changes to the design of the second camp based on what you’ve learned?

     
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    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 08:52 a.m.

    Thanks for the questions Emily! 

    We are focused on (1) the development of their CS knowledge and (2) an increase in engagement and motivation. We do teach them some about music, but it is really a vehicle to get them excited about CS.

    We learned *a lot* from the first camp. Some things we are going to change are (1) giving in-line feedback / guidance in the in-class and after-class activities and (2) adapting to in-person camps (previous camps were online due to COVID). In-person camps should be WAY more fun, as the music professor is an amazing musician, and he can demonstrate things live.

     
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    Chrystalla Mouza
  • May 11, 2022 | 10:38 a.m.

    Wow - I'm at VCU and had no idea this was happening. I'd love to learn more about this project. Let's get together sometime for coffee or a drink. For the moment, I do have a technical question: are the students using Python code blocks, writing native Python code, or working in some sort of hybrid system? Do they come into the program with ANY prior coding experience, or are you truly starting them from scratch?

     
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    Chrystalla Mouza
    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 11:02 a.m.

    Hi Daniel, I would love to get together and discuss this. Let's do it!

    Re the code... we use Python. We are using the program called TunePad, which uses Python to create music. We do NOT assume any prior training in programming or CS. We do NOT assume any prior training in music. 

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 11, 2022 | 12:26 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this innovative project! Can you describe the Battle of the Beats more? Are students all in the same room hearing and voting on their favorite beats at the same time? 

     
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    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 12:29 p.m.

    For the Battle of the Beats we have a end-of-camp, in-person meeting. We allow students to submit their beats either to an Exhibition category or the competition. For the competition category we play ~5 beats at a time and then allow students and parents to vote live via Mentimeter. The only drawback to this approach is that it is possible for kids to have their feelings hurt if no one votes for them. However, we go over ground rules for being nice to each other ahead of time, and we didn't have this problem.

    More here: https://vcuengineering.exposure.co/theyve-got-t...

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 11, 2022 | 12:55 p.m.

    How fun! Thanks!

     
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    David Shepherd
  • May 11, 2022 | 08:54 p.m.

    I love this. What programming platform do you use?

     
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    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 08:06 a.m.

    We use TunePad, which is like EarSketch's cousin. Check out a beat here: https://tunepad.live/app/dropbook/51168

  • Small default profile

    Jsn Cuny

    May 11, 2022 | 11:27 p.m.

    Interesting project.

    What coding concepts did you teach and how are you evaluating whether the students understood them. Do you have any way of determining whether they can apply those concepts in other situations?

     
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    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: Chrystalla Mouza

    Chrystalla Mouza

    Co-Presenter
    Distinguished Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 11:39 p.m.

    Hi Jan, the concepts covered during the first iteration of the camp included: variables, lists, functions, and loops. We have examined logged data from the coding environment to investigate whether these concepts were represented in students' coding products across various points in time throughout the 10-day camp. We have a paper accepted at ITiCSE, presenting the results. We have not examined how students may apply these concepts in other settings.

  • Icon for: Jan Cuny

    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 12, 2022 | 10:18 p.m.

    Nice.  The issue of applying the concepts in other settings is more difficult to assess.

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 12, 2022 | 06:39 a.m.

    Was the music from the video produced by Code Beats students?

     
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    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 08:08 a.m.

    We made an entire album from the top ten beats that students made last summer. It is available for free here: https://codebeats.bandcamp.com/album/get-with-t...

    And also on Spotify, Amazon Music, etc.

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 15, 2022 | 06:21 a.m.

    Exciting! Thank you!

  • Icon for: Ann Podleski

    Ann Podleski

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 10:20 a.m.

    Wow!!  So cool.  What a great way to get kids engaged and introduced to computer programming.  (Some of my favorite things are math and music, and I am definitely becoming a convert to Computer Science also!).  Introducing STEM in different ways to younger people is key in the process of achieving equity and inclusion in STEM.  Thank you for this amazing project.

     
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    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 10:45 a.m.

    Thank you so much for your kind comments. I love music too... I am curious as to how many people that are really into music would be good programmers.  I don't have an answer to this, but I do know that NASA used to raid music departments in Virginia to recruit people to become programmers :)

  • May 12, 2022 | 06:16 p.m.

    Interesting project! Curious how you distinguish this approach from EarSketch from Georgia Tech.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 09:02 p.m.

    First of all, we *love* the EarSketch platform. It is an amazing approach that definitely inspired us. We are using the TunePad platform, which calls itself "EarSketch's cousin". The platforms are similar. However, those are the platforms... Code Beats itself is really more of a curriculum / philosophy for teaching using a musical platform. 

    So, TunePad is the platform that we use to deliver the Code Beats approach, which uses hip hop beats to teach coding. What work did we do to prepare our approach? We transcribed about 60 hip hop songs into TunePad, designed activities around them to teach different CS concepts, and created both CS and musical instructional units.

    There is a LOT of room for even more people using music to teach coding. I could imagine it being done with rock, for instance, or even being used in more traditional music classes. I hope more people will join in the CS / music fun and make our related work sections even more awkward to write ;)

  • Icon for: Jan Cuny

    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 12, 2022 | 10:22 p.m.

    Did you look at how the students attitudes about CS changed?

  • Icon for: Chrystalla Mouza

    Chrystalla Mouza

    Co-Presenter
    Distinguished Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 07:34 a.m.

    Hi Jan, yes! We have distributed a pre/post survey on attitudes towards CS (coding in particular in this case), based on an instrument developed and validated by Rich et al. We have also conducted focus groups with participants. We are in the process of analyzing the data so we are not in a position to report findings yet. Stay tuned.

  • Icon for: Jan Cuny

    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 13, 2022 | 09:25 p.m.

    I'll look forward to seeing the results.

    Nice project!  My son who now regrets that he never studied CS would have LOVED this course; might have changed directions.

     
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    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 16, 2022 | 10:24 a.m.

    Maybe it's not too late... we are considering trying this approach out for adult education too. I consider that a win-win, because then I would get to use old school rap, like Dr. Dre, which I am actually familiar with... ;)

  • Icon for: Zenon Borys

    Zenon Borys

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2022 | 11:26 a.m.

    What a great project!  I'd love to go to the camp!  I find myself wondering about any anecdotal surprises (or even challenges) you noticed students come up with.  For example, what kind of connections were students making to other songs separate from the Code Beats curriculum.  Were they using CS ideas to explain other facets of their music listening habits (idea of internalizing and transferring what they were learning)?  Thanks.  

     
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    David Shepherd
  • Icon for: David Shepherd

    David Shepherd

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 16, 2022 | 10:29 a.m.

    I found that students were influenced by their outside music interests even more than I expected. For instance, a student whose parents had forced him to study classical music made a beat like this (https://codebeats.bandcamp.com/track/code-beats). A student that was really into video game music made a beat like this (https://codebeats.bandcamp.com/track/moonie-cha...). Their connection with their own musical preferences is strong, and shows up in their outputs. 

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