Keynotes and Speakers for ITx Rutherford
Krissi is a lecturer with more than 10 years experience in the School of Information Technology, where she teaches Programming and Databases in the Bachelor of Information Technology. She comes from an industry background and her main area of research is in Computing Education.
Taking the conference theme “Leading IT Education in a Changing World” as its starting point, this paper synthesises and analyses the past ten years of CITRENZ conference papers to draw a picture of the Computing and Information Technology Research and Education community in New Zealand. There is a strong relationship between teaching and research in New Zealand, and research-informed teaching forms a fundamental part of New Zealand tertiary education. As such, investigating the published research of a given teaching community can give insights into its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges; prompt reflection from the community; and suggest ways of improving research into the future.
This paper analyses ten years of CITRENZ conference proceedings from a number of perspectives: content analysis of abstracts to determine trends in research topics and get an idea of how the focus of Computing and IT research in New Zealand is changing; an analysis of authorship and collaboration to provide insights into the CITRENZ research community; and citation analysis of papers to investigate the impact or influence of CITRENZ research both in New Zealand and globally.
Investigating published research over a protracted period is useful for a number of reasons: firstly, it can reveal trends in research design, method use, and paradigm shifts, subsequently influencing researchers and practitioners; secondly, a comprehensive overview can provide emerging researchers better insight into the appropriateness of a particular publishing avenue, as opposed to simply relying on the stated ‘aims and scope’ or metrics such as citations counts; finally, it offers an opportunity for a research community to reflect on the state of a particular field from multiple perspectives, coming up with recommendations or future directions.
Content analysis of CITRENZ abstracts shows that the most consistent focus across papers is on students. In terms of research topics, though, there are no obvious trends; papers cover a wide range of topics from teaching strategies (e.g. ‘pair programming’, ‘self-directed learning’), to technology innovation (e.g. ‘QR codes’, ‘machine learning’), to issues concerning computing education (e.g. ‘student performance’, ‘lecturer expectations’). Topics specific to the New Zealand context are prominent (e.g. issues pertaining to Māori learners, or PBRF).
This paper highlights that CITRENZ researchers are engaged with a wide scope of current research topics of interest to the computing education community, and that researchers collaborate with industry as well as academic partners. CITRENZ papers are also cited internationally, although not to a large extent; this is perhaps not surprising given the size of the conference. The conference could perhaps look at ways of growing its influence locally—both for attracting new and emerging researchers to publish, and disseminating research across the country. Frequent CITRENZ authors could also broaden their collaboration networks, particularly outside of their own institutions, as a means to strengthen the research community.