Barriers to Gender Diversity in Software Development Education: Actionable Insights from a Danish Case Study. / Borsotti, Valeria.

2018. Paper presented at ICSE 2018 40th International Conference on Software Engineering, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Winner of Software Engineering Education and Training Paper Award at ICSE 2018.

This paper contributes to the growing literature on the gender gap in computer science education by focusing on an exploratory
case study conducted at the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU), Denmark. The specific objective of this study was to draw on
existing research in order to empirically investigate the main sociocultural barriers to female participation in the bachelor of Software
Development at ITU, and to generate insights that would inform concrete and effective interventions.

This contribution examines a STEAM pilot workshop organized by the IT University of Copenhagen which targeted high school girls. The workshop aimed to introduce the girls to coding and computing through hands-on e-textiles activities realized with the Protosnap Lilypad Development board. This contribution discusses the advantages and challenges of using e-textiles activities as introduction to coding and computing.

In this exploratory case study we map the educational practice of teachers and students in a professional master of Interaction Design. Through a grounded analysis of the context we describe and reflect on: 1) the use of digital learning tools in a blended learning environment, 2) co-presence as an educational parameter. We use the concept of habitus (Bourdieu, 1977) to engage with the empirical context, and we adopt the Reggio Emilia perspective of viewing space, both physical and social, as the third teacher (Edwards et al, 1998). This investigation has led to insights into the existing practice of educators and students, as well as the identification of emerging themes for future research.