Good Discussions on Computing Education in a Cosy Athmosphere

There was snow!The Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research was once again a great experience. There were many regular Koli Calling authors (like myself) but also newcomers, for example André Santos whom you might remember from the time when he was for two years in our department working in the research group of Kaitsu.

André is nowadays teaching programming in Java and has developed a program visualization tool AGUIA/J that he presented. My presentation was about a survey on visualization tool usage in programming courses so we immediately had a topic for discussing and sharing ideas.

The conference always takes place in the same location: Sokos Hotel Koli which is in the Koli National park, practically in the middle of nowhere. The idea is that people stay tightly together for 3 days. It is impossible to escape the group because you can't get anywhere by walk.
The conference always takes place in the same location, Sokos Hotel Koli, which is in the Koli National park, practically in the middle of nowhere. The idea is that people stay tightly together for 3 days. It is impossible to escape the group because you can’t get anywhere by walk.
As you stay tightly together there is a good chance to discuss all possible things with colleagues. The conference is well known of its lively discussions.
As you stay together, there is a good chance to discuss all possible things with colleagues. The conference is well-known of its lively discussions both in the plenary and outside it.
There was also a panel discussion on MOOCs (Massive open online courses). On the left Arto Vihavainen, a teacher of the Helsinki University programming MOOC, and on the right Otto Seppälä, who's in the Aalto University programming MOOC staff.
There was also a panel discussion on MOOCs (Massive open online courses). On the left Arto Vihavainen, the teacher of the Helsinki University programming MOOC, and on the right Otto Seppälä, who’s in the Aalto University programming MOOC staff.
I presented a paper written together with Hannu-Matti Järvinen.
I presented a paper written together with Hannu-Matti Järvinen. The title is “Are Visualization Tools used in Programming Education? By Whom, How, Why, and Why Not?”
One conference tradition is a time slot reserved for a walk in the national park together. You can also spot André in the picture in the front row. (This photo by Jouni Ikonen.)
One of the multiple conference traditions is a time slot reserved for a walk in the national park together. You can also spot André in the picture in the front row. (This photo by Jouni Ikonen.)

 

The athmosphere of the conference is very relaxed. Sauna and spa are a must. This year we had a new time keeping pig for the session chair. When the time is over the chair signals that by squeezing the pig that will squeak, Very practical. (Me chairing at the background.)
The athmosphere of the conference is very relaxed. Sauna and spa are a must. This year we had a new time keeping pig for the session chair. When the time is over the chair signals that by squeezing the pig that will squeak, Very practical!
The most negative fact related to the conference is that it takes place in November which can be a really depressing time of year to visit Finland. However, this year we were lucky and the national park appeared very beautiful with frost in the trees.
The only negative fact related to the conference is that it takes place in November which can be a really depressing time of year to visit Finland. However, this year we were lucky and the national park appeared very beautiful with frost in the trees.

If you have a teaching-related idea you would like to publish, I can recommend Koli Calling for you. It is a high quality conference not too far away. And coming home from there you will certainly bring lot’s of good ideas with you!

Photos by André Santos

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