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EBP: Bringing AP Computer Science Principles to Students with Learning Disabilities and/or an ADHD: The Hidden Underrepresented Group


Outlier Research & Evaluation at UChicago STEM Education | University of Chicago and the Wolcott School (a high school in Chicago for students with learning differences) are engaged in a two-year, research-practice partnership to support more equitable learning in computer science. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), our team is applying a rigorous research approach to:

-Identify teaching and learning challenges specific to learning differences (i.e., specific learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders) in the Computer Science Principles (CSP) instructional materials, and computer science classes more generally;
-Develop two types of adjustments to the instructional materials to address those challenges (whole-class "adaptations" and individual learner "accommodations"); and
-Pilot the adjustment recommendations with students who have learning differences at Wolcott School in the school's AP CSP course, 2016-2017.

A key intention of our work is to share what works and why with CSP curriculum developers and computer science teachers, to equip them with research-derived strategies to proactively address student needs specific to learning differences.