aerial view of the entrance to the Okanagan College's Trades building in Kelowna

WCCCE 2024

26th Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education May 2-3, 2024

 

About the conference

The Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education (WCCCE) is a platform for educators to share innovative methods, tools, and experiences in computer-related instruction. It welcomes papers, posters, and demonstrations covering a range of topics, including program development, teaching methods, and distance learning applications. Whether you've found success or faced challenges, your contributions are valuable in shaping the future of computing education.

The Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education is a forum for disseminating information pertaining to the development and delivery of programs and courses in computer science, computer technology, and information systems in general. The conference brings together university and college educators along with industrial partners and government officials who have an interest in the instruction of computer related courses. It is designed for all educators who are involved in the evolution of computing education.

If you are effectively using unique methods to teach a computer related topic, this is the place to share your approach. If you have successfully adopted a new tool or technology in your computer related courses or labs, this is the place to brag about it. If you have developed a tool that improves instruction quality for your courses, this is the place to demonstrate it. Even if you have tried methods or tools in your instruction with little success, we are still eager to hear about it. Your experience will help us all.

The conference is soliciting papers, posters and demonstrations in a wide range of topics including the following:

  • Post secondary programs and curricula
  • New or experimental curricula at any level
  • Teaching methods or tools for specific concepts or courses
  • Materials for specific concepts or courses
  • General methods and tools for computer related courses
  • Methods, tools and effective structures of designing and teaching computer labs
  • Applications for distance and/or distributed learning
  • Multimedia applications for computer education

Conference Chair: Youry Khmelevsky, Okanagan College, Kelowna, BC

WCCCE 2024 Organizing Committee

  • Frank Zhang, University of the Fraser Valley (Co-Chair)
  • Charles Hepler, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computing, Mount Royal University
  • Abdallah Mohamed, The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
  • Jim Nastos, Computer Science, Okanagan College
  • Thais Santos Damasceno, Computer Science, OC IEEE Student Branch Chair, OC

WCCCE 2024 Program Committee

  • Bill Bird, University of Victoria (Co-Chair)
  • Youry Khmelevsky, Okanagan College (Co-Chair)
  • Andreas Bergen (University of Toronto Mississauga)
  • Gaétan Hains, University Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (UPEC)/LACL (France)

WCCCE 2024 Steering Committee (The Past Conference Chairs)

  • Ben Stephenson, University of Calgary (Co-Chair)
  • Mike Zastre, University of Victoria (Co-Chair)
  • Donald Acton (Co-Chair), University of British Columbia
  • Diana Cukierman (Co-Chair), Simon Fraser University
  • Kemi Ola, University of British Columbia

WCCCE 2024 Reviewers

  • Abdallah    Mohamed    University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
  • Ajay     Dhruv    Thompson Rivers University
  • Alan    Fedoruk    Mount Royal University
  • Andreas     Bergen     University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Anthony    Estey    University of Victoria
  • Apoorve     Chokshi    Mount Royal University
  • Ben    Stephenson    University of Calgary
  • Bill    Bird    University of Victoria
  • Brian     Fraser    SFU
  • Celina      Berg    Uvic
  • Charles    Hepler    Mount Royal University
  • Charlotte    Curtis    Mount Royal University
  • Diana    Cukierman    SFU
  • Donald    Acton    University of British Columbia
  • Ed    Knorr    University of British Columbia
  • Eric    Chalmers    Mount Royal University
  • Frank    Zhang     University of the Fraser Valley
  • Gaétan    Hains    27PU1 University Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (UPEC)/LACL (France)
  • Giulia    Toti    University of British Columbia
  • Ian    Berlot-Attwell    University of Toronto
  • Ildar    Akhmetov    University of Alberta
  • Ilya     Musabirov    University of Toronto
  • Jim     Nastos    Okanagan College
  • Jonathan    Calver    University of Toronto
  • Kathiravelu    Ganeshan    Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus and Future Skills Academy
  • Larry Yueli    Zhang    York University
  • Lisa    Tang    SFU
  • Mahreen     Nasir    Algoma University
  • Mandeep    Pannu    University of the Fraser Valley
  • Marc    Schroeder    Mount Royal University
  • Mariam    Elhussein    Mount Royal University
  • Michael    Guerzhoy    University of Toronto
  • Michael    Liut    University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Mike    Zastre    University of Victoria
  • Nisha    Puthiyedth    Thompson Rivers University
  • Patrice    Belleville    University of British Columbia
  • Patrick    Perri    Mount Royal University
  • Rasit     Eskicioglu    University of Manitoba 
  • Rich      Little    UVic
  • Roberto     Bittencourt    UVic
  • Said    Baadel    Mount Royal University
  • Salil    Ghosh    NIC
  • Tyson    Kendon    University of Calgary
  • Yasaman     Amannejad    Mount Royal University
  • Youry    Khmelevsky    Okanagan College
     

The Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education (WCCCE) 2024 May 2 & 3, 2024, Okanagan College, Kelowna, Canada

The Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education is a forum for disseminating experience and information on developing and delivering programs and courses broadly defined in computer science, computer technology, or information systems. The conference aims to bring together educators, industrial partners, and government officials interested in the instruction and delivery of computing-related courses and the development and evolution of computing education.

This year, we are continuing to broaden participation among Canadian computing educators. To foster this interchange of ideas, the organizers of WCCCE 2024 welcome papers, nifty assignments, and special sessions on the following (non-exhaustive) list of topics:

  • New or experimental computing-education curricula at any level, including K-12
  • Teaching methods or tools for specific concepts or courses, general methods and tools for computing-related courses
  • Methods, tools, and effective structures for designing, teaching and grading, including automation tools
  • Experience reports on the use of new techniques or technology
  • Applications and techniques to support distance and/or distributed learning
  • Broadening participation and improving student wellbeing
  • School outreach programs or high-school programs for computer programming and/or computational thinking
  • Computing education research

We intend to have the Conference Proceedings indexed in the ACM Digital Library.

If you effectively use unique methods to teach a computing-related topic or have successfully adopted a new tool or technology in your computing-related courses or labs, this is an opportunity to tell people about it. If you have developed a tool that improves the instructional quality of your courses or provides insight into the learning process, this is the place to demonstrate it. Even if you have tried methods or tools in your instruction with little success, we are still eager to hear about it. Your experience can help us all.

The deadline for all submissions has been extended to March 18th, 2024.

WCCCE 2024 will be run in an in-person format only. For more information, including instructions on how to submit, please explore this website.

Any identifying information, such as authors’ names, institution names, or identifying references, must be replaced by the authors with placeholders so the papers can be anonymously reviewed (double-blind review, with at least two reviewers per paper). The authors of accepted papers will have the opportunity to modify their submissions, considering the reviewers’ comments, and to replace any placeholders with the proper identifiers. We will have at least 2-3 weeks for the reviewers for each paper reviewed. 

Please let us know if you are willing to serve as a reviewer. 

Long Papers

All long paper submissions must follow the ACM’s publication guidelines. Papers may contain up to six pages plus one page for references and acknowledgments. Authors will have 25 minutes to present their work (including time for questions) at the conference.

Links to the article templates for LaTeX (strongly recommended) and Microsoft Word, along with a description of the submission format, can be found at https://www.acm.org/publications/proceedings-template. When preparing your submission, use the ACM reference formats for various citation types as described at https://www.acm.org/publications/authors/reference-formatting.

Short Papers

A short paper is a lightweight way to engage the WCCCE audience with some aspect of computing education you are excited about and passionate about. The authors of each accepted short paper will have approximately 15 minutes to present their work (including time for questions) during a conference session.

Short papers must follow the submission guidelines for long papers concerning formatting and anonymization. Short papers must not exceed two pages in length, including references.

Blizzard Talks

A Blizzard Talk is the Canadian equivalent of a lightning talk. Individuals will be given 5 minutes to present on any topic of potential interest to the WCCCE community. For example, this would be an excellent way for you to tell us about:

  • work in progress
  • an interesting assignment
  • new teaching tools
  • your opinions on some pedagogical topic
  • new course development
  • a study you would like to do
  • a project where you would like to partner with others

The above are just examples, and anything that you think would interest the WCCCE community is appropriate. We are asking everyone who is interested to submit a short description (200 words max) of what the presentation will be about. This will help us order the presentations and, if needed, decide who will get a slot. You may submit multiple proposals if you want to present multiple things, but combining them into one blizzard presentation would be impractical. Blizzard abstracts will be posted on the website but not included in the conference proceedings.

Nifty Assignments

WCCCE will also allow educators to share assignments they have previously used to assess students in novel and engaging ways. For more information on what constitutes a “nifty assignment,” please visit http://nifty.stanford.edu/info.html.

Accepted assignments will be presented in the Nifty Assignments session at the conference. The assignment materials will be hosted on the WCCCE website so that they are available to other educators for years to come, and a brief description of the assignment will be published in the conference proceedings. Submissions to this track must not have been previously published in another nifty assignment or similar session.

The content of a nifty assignment submission will vary depending on the nature of the assignment. Submitters are encouraged to include the (non-exhaustive) list of items below, as appropriate to their particular assignment, so that it can be refereed effectively. Submissions should not include information on the authors or their affiliations for the blind review process.

  • A description of the assignment and what makes it nifty. This could include:
    • The strengths/positive aspects of the assignment.
    • The assignment assessed the topics and learning goals.
    • The assignment’s level of difficulty.
    • The course in which the assignment was used.
    • The language students used to implement their solutions.
  • Any weaknesses or challenges associated with the assignment.
  • Any technological or educational dependencies (such as a particular library).
  • The assignment handout that was provided to the students.
  • Any starter code, data files, or other materials needed to complete the assignment.
  • Grading criteria (optional).
  • A runnable sample solution (optional).

Nifty assignment submissions should include a 2-page summary that can be included in the conference proceedings. Authors may also submit a zip file containing supplemental materials such as handouts, starter codes, and grading scripts. The summary, as well as the contents of the zip file, should be anonymized for review.

Special Sessions

A Special Session allows you to share your work and ideas uniquely. Participants are allowed to craft the session as they see fit. The only constraints are location and time: the sessions will be scheduled by default in standard conference rooms and can range from 25 to 75 minutes in length. The format can resemble a panel, birds of a feather session, reflective practice, courseware demo, tutorial, workshop, or roundtable, to name a few. Special Session submission proposals are not to exceed three pages and are to contain the following information:

  • A descriptive title for the session.
  • A description of the topic that indicates how/why this session would interest attendees and justifies how this session adds something new to the program that the predefined session formats (papers, blizzard talks, and nifty assignments) do not provide.
  • The time required and an outline of how that time will be utilized.
  • An explanation of the expectations of participants and how participants will be actively engaged.
  • Any special requests that would improve the session (e.g., equipment, room configuration) along with a backup plan should we be unable to accommodate them.
  • References (if applicable).
  • A list of presenters with affiliations and short biographies explaining their expertise in the session’s topic.

Special session submissions are to include author and presenter information and do not require anonymous submission. Special session abstracts will be included in the conference proceedings.

Registration is open! All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

Early Bird Registration (ending on April 22nd, 2024)

  • Conference Admission, including Tax & Fees: $280
  • Conference Admission, without the Thursday banquet, including Tax & Fees: $200
  • Conference Admission for the Student/Retiree, including Tax & Fees: $100

Registration Site

Please visit the https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-26th-western-canadian-conference-on-computing-education-wccce-tickets-804199170367?aff=oddtdtcreator site to complete your registration. Note that you must create an account (if you don't already have an https://www.eventbrite.ca account).

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people will be at WCCCE 2024?

Before the postponement of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 editions of WCCCE, the conference had approximately 80-110 attendees. We anticipate that attendance will be between 50 and 80 people in 2024. Although COVID-19 forced us to cancel the three scheduled conferences, we held several online events before 2023 to keep the interest in the conference alive and to continue to build the computing education community. These events were very well attended. In 2023, we had excellent attendance at UBC Vancouver University.

Thursday, May 2nd

9:00 am: Opening Remarks 
9:15 am: Keynote 1 (Theatre and the Pit)
10:15 am: Coffee Break
10:40 am: Parallel Session 1

12:00: Lunch

1:20 pm: Parallel Session 2
2:40 pm: Coffee Break
3:00 pm: Parallel Session 3
4:30 pm: WCCES AGM (Theatre)
5:45 pm or 6:00 pm: Conference Dinner 

Friday, May 3rd

9:00 am: Keynote 2 (Theatre and the Pit)
10:00 am: Coffee Break
10:30 am: Parallel Session 4

12:00: Lunch

1:20 pm: Parallel Session 5
2:50 pm: Closing Remarks

Air Travel

Kelowna is easily reached by air. Its international airport (YLW) serves numerous cities across Canada and major hubs in the United States.

Airport Connections

A taxi or public transit is the most convenient way to travel from the airport to Okanagan College or a nearby hotel. Kelowna International Airport's website can help you figure out a route on public transit.

Accommodations

We understand that finding the right accommodation is essential for a comfortable and convenient conference experience. We have partnered with two excellent hotels to provide you with options that suit your preferences.

The Shore - Exclusive Discount Promo:

Enjoy a special discount when booking your stay at The Shore. Simply use the code WESTCON2024 when making your reservation online to take advantage of this limited-time offer. This code is valid for bookings between April 28th and May 5th.

Siesta Suites - Reservation by Phone:

Siesta Suites is just a phone call away if you prefer a more personalized approach to booking your accommodation. Contact (250) 763-5013 to their dedicated reservation team at the provided phone number. Mention that you are attending the conference to secure a room at the best available rate. 

You can also explore the BC Government Employees Business Travel Accommodation Listing, which is available only to BC government employees, MLAs, members of the Judiciary system, contractors, Alberta, Saskatchewan, or State of Washington government employees, and BC public sector entities that are on the CSA User's List.

Things to Do In Kelowna

Looking for more ideas? You can start out by checking out what Okanagan College has to offer through the visit Okanagan College site. For some ideas on what to do in the Kelowna area, be sure to check out the Tourism Kelowna and City of Kelowna websites.

Food and Drink on Okanagan College Campus

Okanagan College offers two cafeteria options: Marmalade Cat Café and Keluli Café. In addition, there is The Market, where you can find grab-and-go meal options and locally sourced products. 

There are many places on campus. Search for anything particular that you're looking for!

 

Date and time

May 2-3, 2024

Location

Okanagan College 
1000 KLO Road, Kelowna, BC

Kelowna campus map

Important dates

  • Submissions are due: extended to Monday, March 25th, 2024 (midnight), but because we use the Oxford Abstracts based in the UK, we can't change the submission time (sorry). We used March 26th, 2024, at midnight UK (GMT).
  • Author notifications: early April 2024
  • Conference: May 2-3, 2024

Venue

The 26th WCCCE 2024 will occur in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, May 2-3, 2024 (Thursday and Friday). The conference sessions will be held on the Okanagan College Kelowna campus in Theater (S Building — see the campus map here: https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/sites/default/files/2023-11/kelowna-campus-and-parking-map.pdf). The 26th WCCCE 2024 will have an in-person format.

About the organizer

The 2024 conference is being hosted by the Department of Computer Science at Okanagan College.

Keynote speakers

Dr. Ramon Lawrence

Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Approaches to Assessment and Student Help

Artificial intelligence has a significant impact on approaches to engaging, helping, and assessing students. Even before generative AI systems such as ChatGPT, students often questioned the value of assignments, may not consistently engage with instructors and teaching assistants during office hours and labs, and struggled to find the motivation and support necessary for their learning. This talk describes several research studies and systems designed to improve student engagement and learning. The first project focuses on automating assessment using PrairieLearn for both asynchronous labs and real-time classroom engagement using a gamification approach. The second project describes the HelpMe system supporting on-demand help for students using virtual labs rather than scheduled lab times. Virtual labs help with accessibility and engagement while reducing the computer lab resources used. The third project analyzes the impacts of generative AI on assessments and support systems. This includes research on detecting AI submissions in Computer Science courses and using course-specific chatbots to help answer questions for students. Attendees will be able to take away some practical approaches for use in their own classes.

Bio: Dr. Ramon Lawrence is a professor of computer science and Academic Director for the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. His teaching recognitions included the UBC Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation in 2017, the Killam Teaching Prize in 2020, and a 9-time member of the teaching honour roll recognizing the top 10% of instructors at UBC Okanagan. His scholarship in teaching and learning research is in the areas of automatic assessment and help systems and the impacts of artificial intelligence on education. The research has resulted in changes to how labs are delivered for many courses. He is the founder of Unity Data Inc. (www.unityjdbc.com), which provides software for data integration from multiple sources and is a database consultant for enterprises requiring Big Data solutions. Recent work produced software for SQL querying and integrating MongoDB with enterprise relational systems used by numerous companies worldwide. Dr. Lawrence is a senior member of the ACM and a senior member of IEEE.

Dr. Ben Stephenson

Tales from the Trenches: Experiences from Two Decades of Post-Secondary Teaching

I have been teaching at the post-secondary level since 2001.  During that time, I have used a variety of activities and interventions to engage students, manage my workload, improve assessments, and better students’ experiences in both my own courses and others.  In this talk I will survey the practices that I have implemented; everything from TA training to snake charming, and textbook writing to computer generated art.  I’ll tell stories about what has worked well, some well-intentioned ideas that didn’t have as much impact as hoped, and maybe even a complete flop (or two).  My hope is that you come away from this session with new ideas to try in your own classroom and the ability to avoid some of the mistakes that I have made.

Bio: Ben Stephenson is a Professor (Teaching) at the University of Calgary with more than two decades of post-secondary teaching experience during which he has taught thousands of students.  He is the author of a dozen pedagogically focused papers, five “nifty” assignments, and two textbooks.  Ben is a significant contributor to the Canadian and international Computer Science Education communities and is currently recovering from his recent work as Co-Chair of the 2023 and 2024 SIGCSE Technical Symposia on Computer Science Education.  Outside of working hours he is a husband and father of two, an avid Lego builder, a solar panel enthusiast, and a frugal grocery shopper.

Submit your contribution

Bringing together educators, industry and students

The 26th Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education at Okanagan College is a forum for discussing the development of computing programs and curricula and for sharing innovative strategies and tools for teaching & learning in fields such as computer science, software engineering, computer technology, information systems and information technology. It will bring educators from the western provinces, the rest of Canada, and beyond, allowing them to share their experiences and learn from one another.

Submit your contribution via Oxford Abstracts

Sponsors

To sponsor the 26th Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education at Okanagan College, contact Dr. Youry Khmelevsky at ykhmelevsky@okanagan.bc.ca.

Platinum sponsors

Gold sponsors

TBD

Silver sponsors

Patron sponsors

TBD

Cooperating organizations

WCCCE 2024 is presented in cooperation with the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE - approved on Feb. 9th, 2024) and Sponsored by the IEEE Okanagan Subsection and IEEE Vancouver Section (Approved by the IEEE Vancouver Section in January 2024). For more information about the WCCCE conferences, please visit the WCCCE page on the ACM Digital Library website.

Contact us

For more information contact Computer Sciences Chair Dr. Youry Khmelevsky at ykhmelevsky@okanagan.bc.ca

Dr. Youry Khmelevsky

Chair - Computer Science
Office: E Building 321
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4741
Computer Science - Youry Khmelevsky

I have been a Professor in the Computer Science department at Okanagan College since 2005. I was a Chair of the Department since June 2015 for 3 years, and then from 2020. I have a Ph.D. in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Microelectronics with distinctions (GPA 99%). I also completed a post-doctoral study in the United States at Harvard University in 1997. I was a visiting scientist at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in August 2010 for 12 months and at LIP6, Sorbonne University, Paris, France, in August 2018 for 12 months. My research team was awarded 2 of the best conference research paper awards in 2014 and 2023. 

Youry Khmelevsky's Google Scholar profile

Publications by Youry Khmelevsky

Credentials:
PhD, Computer Science, KPI