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My Biography

Since November 2019, I have been at the Institute for Mathematics and Applied Informatics at the University of Hildesheim. I am the head of the newly established Department of Computer Science Didactics and as a visiting professor (W2) I fulfill the tasks of a professor of Computer Science Didactics. I have previously worked at Graz University of Technology (Austria), Department of Software Technology as a postdoctoral university assistant (2015-2019). At TU Graz, I am part of the product owner board of the Catrobat project. 

My work is focused on how to engage teeangers in playful computer science activities, with the dedication to enhance the experiences of  girls in particular.

My Research

My research interests are divided into four main areas:

1. Computer Science Education/Didactics: Teacher Education, Curriculum Improvements, Constructionism, Learning Environments, Learning Resources/OER,  Maker/Open Learning Spaces, MOOCs,  eLearning, …

2. Educational Technology: Game Development-Based Learning, Mobile Learning, Game Design, Gaming Behaviour, …

3. Gender & Diversity in CS/Tech and Education:  Equality and Gender Balance, Gender and Development, Women’s Empowerment in Technology, …

4. Application Development: Mobile Technology, Android Application Development, Software Engineering, Agile Development, Usability, User Experience,…

My Teaching Beliefes

As a lecturer, I teach in a constructionist way by building knowledge through the active engagement of students in order to allow them to gain personal experiences. My goal is to spark creativity with an experiential and discovery learning approach and I focus on project work which allows for independent thinking and new ways of constructing information. University teaching and school education follow one another. I perform CS lecturing in different settings: at school level (secondary schools), CS workshops for teenagers, CS coachings for teachers, and of course at university level. At all stages, my focus is to reinforce and activate the learners by creating a student-centered learning situation based on dialogues, question techniques, challenges/activities, etc., to achieve the learning objectives together and to provide the students a great deal of autonomy.

It is also the role of the university to allow all to equally acquire these skills. The number of female students in computer science is very low, but there is a promising way to get more female students deeply interested in computer science. Such goals can contribute in a meaningful, effective, and long-term way to this worthwhile endeavor. In order to gain the necessary competencies in the field of Gender Mainstreaming and Diversity Management, I completed the program “Gender – Diversity – Intersectionality” in 2017/2018.  In my role as a gender and diversity expert, I perform workshops, trainings, and courses on gender-sensitive CS-education. I am confident that gender conscious pedagogy , especially in areas of computer science education, is particularly useful and necessary!

My ultimate goal is to use my experience in computer science education, software engineering and gender/diversity in a meaningful way to contribute to the scientific profile of future teachers. I wish to promote learning across the lifespan and to help people to cope and thrive in the new digital era by providing them with the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to navigate the innovations of the future and to practice productive self-determination. By researching new concepts and standards in the field of technology learning and computer science education, I hope to seek out and implement improvements and to support people in the best possible way to gain the skills needed to succeed.

Social profiles:   –   LinkedIn   –   Twitter   –  ResearchGate   –   GoogleScholar

University of Hildesheim: https://www.uni-hildesheim.de/fb4/institute/imai/abteilungen/didaktik-der-informatik/mitglieder/dr-bernadette-spieler/ 

ORCIDID: 0000-0003-2738-019X
Download “List of Publications” (23.05.2020)

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Short CV

Academic Positions

since Nov. 2019:
University of Hildesheim, Institute for Mathematics and Applied Informatics (IMAI)
Head of the Department of Computer Science Didactics
Visiting Professor of Computer Science Didactics
(German: Gastwissenschaftlerin/Professurverwaltung)
My responsibilities:

    • Research in the area of basic computer science didactics, game based programming, digitization, Computational Thinking (CT) skills, tutorial games, OER, and MOOCs
    • Teaching of didactic courses of computer science didactics in the Bachelor and Master program, gender and diversity courses
    • Trainings for teachers in subject integrated (computer science) teaching and digitisation
    • Expert Group “Schools in Digital Change”, development of the OER platform https://digiducation.com and online course (e.g. “Coding4All”)
    • Workshops and online courses for children and teenagers on computer science topics, Maker Education, etc.

01/2015 – 10/2019
Graz University of Technology, Institute for Software Technology  (IST):

Aug 2018 – Oct 2019:
University Assistant (postdoctoral)
My responsibilities:

    • Research in the field of computer science didactics, game based programming, eLearning, MOOCs, App Design, Apps, Gender & Diversity in Technology
    • Teaching activities in computer science and programming courses for beginners, seminars for didactics of computer science
    • Advanced trainings for teachers and future teaching students in (visual) programming and gender-sensitive computer science didactics
    • Projects: Code’n’Stitch, IT+Talenteschmiede
    • Coding Workshops: Girls Coding Week, CoderDojo, Maker Days for kids
    • Lecturing: Programming 0, Foundation of Computer Science, Mobile Application, Introduction Course CS didactic, seminar CS didactics
    • Catrobot Association (catrobat.org), Product Owner/Head of Development Web-Development team (2019-today), Head of Development / Android Development (2015-2018) for mobile learning software for programming:
    • Pocket Code App (https://catrob.at/pc)
    • Luna&Cat App (version for girls https://catrob.at/luna)

Jul 2017 – Aug 2018:
University Assistant (predoctoral)
My responsibilities:

    • Research and teaching; see above
    • Working group “Informatics didactics”, Programming-AG, Catrobat Team
    • Projects: RemoteMentor, BDPocketCode

Jan 2015 – Jun 2017:
Research Assistant
EU Horizon 2020 Project “No One Left Behind” NOLB (http://no1leftbehind.eu/)
Partners: INMARK Europe, UPM (Spain), GameCity, Nottingham Trent University (UK) and Hochschule der Medien (Germany)
My Responsibilities:

    • Development of Create@School App for academic purposes
    • Planning and conducting of school lessons, teacher coaching, and school workshops (with a focus on female students)
    • Conducting scientific analysis and developing new designs for the app
    • Coordination of several teams of the Catrobat project
    • Interviews, focus group discussions, design thinking workshops, and questionnaires with students
    • Development of new educational concepts for coding activities
    • Development of Catrobat Education Platfom

Academic Education

05/2018
Doctoral program in Engineering Sciences, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Academic Degree: Doctor of Engineering Sciences (Dr. techn.); Equivalent to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Title of Dissertation: Development and Evaluation of Concepts and Tools to Reinforce Gender Equality by Engaging Female Teenagers in Coding
Link: https://catrob.at/SpielerPhD
Major topics: Computer Science Education, Coding, Constructionism, Mobile Gaming, Game Design, Gender and Diversity Management, Application Development
Graduation Date: 24.05.2018, Grade passed with distinction

Master’s degree: 09/2012
Master of Engineering Science (MSc), Grade passed with distinction
FH JOANNEUM Graz | University of Applied Sciences
Institute of eHealth
Title of Master Thesis: Concept and Implementation of a Web Application for the Digital Assessment in Physiotherapy
Major Subjects: Computer-assisted Therapy, Therapy Games, Health Sciences, Medical Informatics, Application Development

Bachelor’s degree: 07/2012
Bachelor of Engineering Science (BSc)
FH JOANNEUM Graz | University of Applied Sciences
Institute of  Information Management
Title of Bachelor Thesis 2: Computer games in therapy: conception and evaluation of digital games for children and adolescents with ADHD
Title of Bachelor Thesis 1: Scratch in Action
Major Subjects: Learning Theories and Learning Games, Visual Programming with Scratch, Game Design, Digital Media, Usability, Software Developmen

Projects

    • Development, testing and deployment of new innovative OER
      • (in review) „Gender- and diversity-competences in research, education, and didactics”, funded by Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture
      • (in review) “Computational Thinking for Girls” – “Innovation Plus”, funded by Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture
    • (in review) Hi!MINT, funded by Federal Ministry of Education and Research
    • GENDER STI (EU H2020, Grant agreement No 872427) 2020 – 2023 (Start 01.07)
    • Code’n’Stitch (FFG/FEMtech) (2018 – 2020)
    • “Gut Aufgelegt” GRRRLS Kuluturverein (2020)
    • IT+ Talenteschmiede (Land Stmk) 2019- 2021
    • RemoteMentor (NetIdee) 2018-2019
    • BDPocketCode (NetIdee) 2018
    • No One Left Behind (EU H2020, Grant Agreement No. 645215) 2015-2017

Teaching

University of Hildesheim:
Summer Term
    • Seminar Computer Science Didactics 2 (Master’s), 4 credits
    • School-related Visual Programming (Bachelor’s), 3 credits
    • Practical Phase: Accompanying seminar for subject of Computer Science (Master’s), 2 credits
    • Practical Phase: Follow-up seminar for subject of Computer Science (Master’s), 1 credits
    • Gender & diversity-aspects of CS and CS didactics (Master’s), 3 credits
Winter Term:
    • Lecture and Exercise in Computer Science Didactics 1 (Bachelor’s), 3 credits
    • Seminar Computer Science Didactics 1 (Bachelor’s), 3 credits
    • Lecture and Exercise in Computer Science Didactics 2 (Master’s), 3 credits
    • Practical Phase: Preparatory seminar for subject of Computer Science (Master’s), 2 credits
TU Graz (2017-2019):
Summer Term
    • Seminar Computer Science Didactics (Bachelor’s), 3 ECTS
    • Mobile Application, Software engineering techniques and methods (Bachelor’s),
    • Teaching Language: English, 3 ECTS
    • Software Development and Knowledge Management: Simulation of Software projects (Master’s), Teaching Language: English, 3 ECTS
Winter Term:
    • Lecture: Get FIT in Computer Science, “flipped classroom” (Bachelor’s), 1.5 ECTS since 2019
    • Seminar: Introductory course for computer science teachers (Bachelor’s), 1.5 ECTS since 2019
    • Programming 0: Playful Introduction to Programming (Bachelor’s), 3 ECTS
    • Foundation of Computer Science (Bachelor’s), 3 ECTS
Karl-Franzens University Graz (2018 -2019):
Summer Term:
    • Design Your Own App, optional course for all students, 1.5 ECTS
University of Applied Science (2018):
Winter Term:
    • Design Your Own App/ Code’n’Stitch, Teaching Language: English (Master’s), 1.5 ECTS

Conference Contributions

Programme Committee:
    • Constructionism 2020
    • European Conference of Game-based Learning (ECGBL) 2019 (Mini Track)
    • Creative Bodies-Creative Minds Conference 2018 (Conference organizing committee)
Reviewer:
    • Frontiers in Education, 2020
    • Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience 2020
    • British Journal of Education Technology (BJET), 2019, 2020
    • Journal of Education and Learning (EduLearn), 2019
    • Constructionism Conference (2018, 2019)
    • Journal of Computer & Education, 2019
    • Educational Research International, 2019
    • SAGE open, 2019
    • MobileSoft, IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mobile Software Engineering and Systems (2019, 2018)
    • Gender IT / GEWINN-Konferenz 2018
    • JCCI 2017: 9th International Joint Conference on Computational Intelligence

Prizes & Awards​

2019:
    • Förderpreis 2019 by alumniTUGraz 1887 & TU Graz, 06/ 2019
2018:
    • Gender & Diversity prize 2018, TU Graz 11/2018
    • Nominee for the award for “Excellent Teaching” by TU Graz 2017/2018
    • Acknowledgement of PhD thesis by Styrian Chamber of Labour 11/2018
    • Acknowledgement of PhD thesis by Upper Austrian Chamber of Labour (“science award”) 10/2018
2016-2017:
    • Closing the Gender Gap Award by NetIdee Vienna 11/2017
    • Winner of “Best Educational App” Best Mobile App Awards,  11/2016
    • Winner of the first prize “Reimagine Education Award Europe” Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia/USA 11/2016
    • Internet for Refugees Award by NetIdee Vienna 11/2016
    • Silver Winner of the “Lovie Awards” and Winner of the People’s Lovie Awards by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, London 10/2015
2015:
    • ICT 2015 ‘Young Minds’ – Grand Prix Best Connect Exhibitor Award,  European Commission, Lisbon 10/2015
    • First Prize FOPI Innovation Award 2015 Forum of the research-based pharmaceutical industry, Vienna 09/2015
    • Second Prize eHEALTH Research Award 2015 Platform of Health Economy, Vienna 05/2015

Other Certificates & Activities

2020:
    • EDLRIS “AI Basics” certificate for AI trainings
    • Google Summer of School (GSoC) Mentor/Organisation Administrator since 2016 https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/
    • Conception and scientific research of coding workshops in cooperation with the Explore ScienCenter (“Coding4All”) 06 – 09.04.2020 a supervised online course Contributor Computer School University of Hildesheim, Summer 2020
2019:
    • Development of Informatics MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered as a preparation course before University with a focus on women without coding/computing experiences, accessible via iMooX, in English and German Link: https://imoox.at/mooc/go/Info-Fit19
    • Organization, planning and implementation: “Girls Coding Week” at TU Graz
    • Contributor: “Maker Days” at TU Graz, Konzept: Programmierung Crash-Kurs in Coding (hAPPy-Lab)
2017-2018:

Expert Groups & Associations

University of Hildesheim
    • Expert Group “Schools in Digital Change – Region of Hildesheim” Development of an education platform for “sharing, informing, digitalisation”, OERs, events, teaching materials, online courses, Link: https://digiducation.de
    • Expert Group “Learning without boundaries”
TU Graz
    • Expert Group TU Graz “Women at TU Graz”, strategic workshops
    • Expert Group TU Graz “Programming AG”
    • Member of Informatics Austria: Association of Austrian Universities CS Didactics
    • Expert Group “CS didactics” (“remote“ member)
    • since 2017: Secretary of Catrobat Association (https://catrobat.com)
    • Organization Committee CoderDojo Graz (https://www.coderdojograz.com/)
    • since 2019: Wimen Association (http://www.wimen.at/), organization team symposium Graz