Working Groups

Working Groups

Working Groups Overview

We are looking forward to receiving several working group proposals for ITiCSE 2011. Each working group will consist of five to ten people who share a common interest in one of the areas described in the respective working group proposal.

Definition of Key Terms

First, we want to define the key terms for working groups, as they have caused some confusion in the past. Working groups are led by one or two working group leaders. The needs of working groups, including support before and during ITiCSE 2011 in Darmstadt, are provided by the working group coordinators. Anybody who participates in a working group is a working group member, so that the term "member" also encompasses the working group leader(s), but not the coordinators.

Working group members, under the direction of their group leader(s), will work intensively for the three months prior to the conference date. Working groups will then meet at the conference site beginning two days before the conference and continue throughout the conference.


Each working group will determine its own meeting schedule. The importance of making effective use of this time cannot be overstated. The intention of the working group experience is not to produce a meaningful report in five days. The goal is for working groups to work intensively — in a distributed though collaborative fashion — for three months prior to meeting in person in Darmstadt. The final five days spent working at the conference site are meant to be the conclusion of this process.

All working group members are expected to arrive at the conference site on the Friday afternoon or evening before the main conference begins (on Friday, June 24th, 2011). We encourage that all members of a given working group meet for a Working Group-internal dinner on Friday evening, as this will provide a relaxed atmosphere for getting to know the other working group members, as these may not have met before. On Saturday morning at 9 AM, the working group leaders will meet with the working group coordinators, to visit the working group rooms and get information about the local setting and local "rules". Immediately after this session - which will take about one hour, and will be prepared by emails from the coordinators beforehand -, the working groups will begin working in their assigned rooms. WLAN is available at all rooms and can be used directly by attendees whose home institution has joined the eduroam network, an international initiative for world-wide roaming of students and researchers at universities. The details for accessing the WLAN for working group members will be announced as we draw closer to the conference. All working groups will have access to a fast printer/copier.

For five days, Saturday, June 25th to Wednesday, June 29th, each working group is expected to work collaboratively to conclude both their research and report writing. The final three days of this period overlap with the conference. Working group leader(s) should make sure that their Working Group members arrange to arrive on time for the (optional) Friday dinner and the Saturday "start of work" at 9 am! Note that the working group dinner on Friday is highly recommended, but not organized by the working group co-chairs or the conference committee. We will gladly provide hints for places to go, but agreeing on a place and time is the responsibility of the working group leaders, as this is an "internal" event that should also take the different arrival times and dietary requirements of the working group participants into account. This is far easier to do for a single working group than for all together. The cost for this event is not covered by the conference registration fee.

Working group members should feel free to attend talks and other conference activities during the conference, although they should be prepared to spend most of their time on working group activities. All working group members are expected to remain at the conference site until the end of the conference to fulfill their responsibilities to their working group.

Working Group Report

Intermediate working group results will be presented to conference attendees at a dedicated conference session. By the end of the conference, each working group will have produced and submitted a robust draft of a report to the working group coordinators. Within four weeks after the conference, the groups will submit a polished version of the report to the working group coordinators, which will be reviewed, possibly revised, and edited under their supervision. Currently, ACM plans to formally publish the two best Working Groups reports on paper, probably in the inroads magazine. The other Working Group reports will be published in an ITICSE Proceedings Supplemental Volume, probably titled ITiCSE-WGR'11: Working Group Reports from the ITiCSE'11 Conference", and which will also be available through the ACM Digital Library. As such, Working Group reports continue to be published at a good venue, provided that they are accepted for publication.

In this way, Working Group reports will in the future have an even better publication option than before: all accepted Working Group reports will be published as peer reviewed reports in an online proceedings volume as described above; additionally, the best selected report(s) will be published in a high-quality magazine as a reprint. Compared to the previous status of the publication in "inroads" (then "only" a newsletter), the publication in the ACM Inroads magazine is a deftinite improvement regarding the visibility. Additionally. all Working Group reports will continue to be placed in the ACM Digital Library, and have a high quality publication - even if only two reports will be published on paper.

Proposing a Working Group

To propose a working group, please submit your proposal using the conference submission system. Your proposal should be limited to two pages, should clearly state the problem or situation you wish to address in the working group, and should describe the concrete approach (or set of approaches) that you plan to take to address the issue during the working group. The proposal should provide a brief background on the working group leader(s) and should specify the prior knowledge or other attributes that will be expected of potential working group members. If you have already contacted people who have expressed an interest in joining the working group if it is accepted, you may also give their name(s) and affiliation(s) in the proposal. This does not imply that these persons automatically become working group members; they still have to apply for joining the working group as outlined below since they may be unable to join the working group because of other considerations. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of their potential interest for the computer science education community.

Please note that as a ground rule, only the working group members participating in the whole process - prior to the meeting as well as on-site during ITiCSE - can be co-authors of a working group's report.

Note: for a variety of reasons, Working Groups should not plan to conduct a survey during the conference. Especially, Working Groups who plan to rely on conducting a survey during the conference and thus depend on the attendees' participation and the hopefully interesting output, are usually not accepted.

Accepted Working Groups for ITiCSE 2011

The following three Working Groups have been accepted for ITiCSE 2011 (please also see my blog for further comments on this process). Please see the web pages linked under the Working Group titles for more information on the topics, leaders, and how to apply.

  1. WG 1: Motivating All Our Students?, led by Janet E. Carter;
  2. WG 2: Informatics in Secondary Education, led by Peter Hubwieser, Torsten Brinda, Johannes Magenheim, and Sigrid Schubert;
  3. WG 3: Information Assurance Education in Two- and Four-Year Institutions, led by Stephen Cooper, Lance C. Pérez, and Elizabeth K. Hawthorne.

In the next few days, we will provide a brief summary of the goals of each Working Group as well as a link to the full PDF proposal here.

Applying to be a Working Group Member

To apply to participate in a working group, please send an email to the leader(s) of the working group you wish to join by March 25, 2011. Early application is encouraged.

Your email message should include:

  • Your name, email address, telephone number and postal address
  • Any special requirements you have, for example accessibility, mobility, dietary etc, which we need to know about before and/or during the conference
  • In a few sentences, state why you are interested in participating in the particular working group
  • In a few sentences, describe the specific expertise in the area you bring to the working group. This should include background and prior contributions to the topic of the group
  • If possible, include a short bibliography of your prior work in the area

The working group leaders will select, in consultation with the working group coordinators, group members based the perceived level of potential contribution they can make to the success of the working group.

Working Group Organization Before and During ITiCSE 2011

More information on the organization of Working Groups before and during the conference will be announced here later.