Exploring computer science pedaogy (online)


This 5-week course will cover approaches to teaching programming and other aspects of Computing.  It will also look at how to carry out a classroom investigation suitable for Part 3. Topics to be covered in terms of pedagogy will include: reading before you write in programming, unplugged strategies, visual to text strategies, contextualisation, use of analogy and collaborative working. in terms of developing your Part 3 project, we will look at how investigations work, establishing a suitable topic, planning your intervention, using observation as data and writing up your Part 3.

There will be an expectation that participants can spend 2/3 hours per week consolidating the learning and developing their Part 3 investigation.


This course is for teachers signed up for the BCS Certificate in Computer Science teaching to give additional support for Part 3: Classroom investigation. It is open to secondary and primary teachers but some of the content is around strategies for teaching text-based programming which may not be relevant to primary teachers. If you select the Guided Route when you sign up for the Certificate you will be entered on to this course.

Course plan

Each session will be divided into two parts with a presentation, task and group discussion for each. The first part will relate to types of pedagogy. The second part will more directly support teachers in developing classroom investigations (as for the Part 3 task).



Topic (pedagogy)

Topic (Investigation)


Week 1

Using unplugged approaches in the classroom

Developing your research question/ types of investigation


Week 2

Text-based programming: strategies to promote understanding

Designing an investigation/


Week 3

Visual (block-based) programming: developing conceptual understanding

Collecting data/ observations


Week 4

Collaborative working in Computing; Motivation and challenge in Computing

Analysing data


Week 5 

Computing and links to literacy and numeracy

Writing up an investigation