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Educators' Symposium

Chair: Eugene Wallingford, University of Northern Iowa, edu_symp@oopsla.org


Join us at OOPSLA's 14th Educators' Symposium, the premier forum for object-oriented (OO) educators and trainers!

This one-day symposium offers a venue for educators and trainers to share their experiences teaching object-oriented technology and to explore ideas that can help us understand and teach OO technology better.

It achieves these goals via a number of avenues, including featured talks, paper presentations, activity sessions, demonstrations, posters, and group discussions.

Important Dates

Submission due date: March 18, 2005
Notification of decision: May 10, 2005
Deadline for camera-ready copy: August 2, 2005

Submission Guidelines

OOPSLA invites educators and trainers from all levels of academia and industry to submit papers and proposals in any area relevant to OO education and training, including but not limited to:

  • teaching techniques
  • understanding how students learn
  • use of educational materials such as software
  • use of agile development approaches in courses
  • facilitating active learning

Special attention will be given to submissions on the topic of teaching software design and practicing design in the classroom.

The Educators' Symposium's program committee will evaluate all submissions. The committee comprises members from academia and industry with extensive experience teaching OO technology. The committee will base its decisions on the following criteria:

  • potential value to OO trainers and educators,
  • clarity,
  • technical and educational merit, and
  • originality.

Ultimately, the committee's focus will be on papers and ideas that symposium attendees can use to improve how their students learn.

Submission Categories

The program committee solicits a variety of submissions that can help OO educators and trainers do their jobs better.

Feel free to contact the symposium chair to request clarification or to propose a type of submission not listed here.

Traditional submissions

Submissions in the following categories have been contributed successfully to past symposia:

  • An experience paper that discusses a challenge encountered teaching in an academic or industrial setting and how the instructor addressed that challenge.
  • A research paper that reports a contribution to knowledge in the field of OO education and training.
  • A proposal for a panel that discusses a topic of current interest from several viewpoints

Nifty assignments

The committee again seeks submissions that describe nifty assignments for teaching a particular OO topic. A nifty assignment is one of those gems that helps students learn an important skill or idea in a fun, challenging way. It is general enough to be adapted for use at different schools and with different programming languages. At the same time, many nifty assignments permit students to go beyond the bounds of the assignment to deepen their understanding in unexpected ways.

To submit a nifty assignment, send a .zip file containing a web directory. This directory should contain:

  • An index.html file that presents the following information:
    • a 1- to 3-sentence description of the assignment
    • information about the assignment, for other instructors:
      • a description of what makes it so nifty
      • the target course or audience for the assignment
      • the idea or skill it teaches
      • the length of time students typically work on it
      • the prerequisite material it assumes
      • a description of difficulties that the instructor must watch for when using the assignment
    • links to support materials for the assignment
  • The instructional materials of the assignment
    • the assignment handout given to students (html, pdf, or rtf)
    • support materials, such as
      • starter and support code files given to students
      • sample data files
      • an executable demo application

For the purpose of acceptance, the program committee will evaluate the quality of the nifty assignment and its applicability to the OOPSLA education community, not the details of the presentation. If accepted, the nifty assignment will go through a phase of shepherding to improve its presentation at the symposium.

Informal submissions

Finally, less formal submissions might include:

  • A report of another 2004-2005 OO education/training event, such as a workshop, working group, or conference during the year, even at OOPSLA 2005.
  • A proposal for a poster or demonstration that shares a technique or resource with the OOPSLA community.

Depending on other activities accepted to the symposium, less formal submissions may be accepted only for display at the symposium, but not presentation; attendees will be able to meet and talk with to presenters during breaks.

Submission Process

Electronic submission of proposals is required through the OOPSLA submission system. Other submissions will not be accepted.

All submissions will be made through the OOPSLA online submission system. The online submission system will open and the end of January, 2005. Other submissions cannot be accepted.

Each submission must include a title, the type of submission, and the author's name, affiliation, and contact information (e-mail, phone, fax).

All papers should be submitted electronically in PDF format. If you do not have access to a program that produces PDF, then you may arrange with the chair to submit in PostScript format. However, this should be a last resort. Note that MS Word documents must be converted to PDF before being submitted.

Final camera-ready papers must be formatted to conform to ACM Proceedings requirements: Nine-point font on ten-point baseline; two columns per page, each column 3.33 inches wide by 9 inches tall, with a column gutter of 0.33 inches; etc. We strongly encourage you to use this layout for your initial submission, too. See the ACM Proceedings Guidelines for more information. You can save preparation time by using one of the templates from that page.

Educator Scholarships

OOPSLA hopes to be able to again offer scholarships for educators from 2- and 4-year colleges to attend the Educators' Symposium and the OOPSLA conference. These scholarships are sponsored by corporations and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN).

More information will be made available later.

For More Information

For additional information on the symposium, clarification of submission requirements, or any other questions, please contact the chair of the Educators' Symposium, Eugene Wallingford, at edu_symp@oopsla.org.

Program Committee

Owen Astrachan, Duke University, USA
Robert Biddle, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Robert Duvall, Duke University, USA
Jutta Eckstein, Independent Consultant, Germany
Mary Lynn Manns, University of North Carolina-Asheville, USA
Rick Mercer, University of Arizona, USA
Chris Nevison, Colgate University, USA
Eugene Wallingford, University of Northern Iowa, USA