A framework for enhancing the social good in computing education: A values approach

Michael Goldweber, Xavier University
John Barr, Ithaca College
Tony Clear, Auckland University of Technology
Renzo Davoli, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
Samuel Mann, Otago Polytechnic
Elizabeth Patitsas, University of Toronto
Scott Portnoff, Downtown Magnets High School


This paper addresses two interrelated problems currently confronting computer science education, motivating students while simultaneously providing them with the skills they'll need to solve complex interconnected problems. We describe a framework for motivating computer science students by adding the context of social good to introductory computing assignments. Adding the context in this manner also goes some way to addressing the need for graduates to have skills, attributes and behaviours appropriate to contributing to social good outcomes. Accompanying this, we provide 14 concrete examples of introductory computing projects that convey and reinforce computing's social relevance and potential for positive societal impact. Copyright © 2012 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. (ACM).