Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
Computational Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
Over the last decade, the Systems Lab at Marquette University has undertaken a grand challenge to positively impact learners and educators in the state of Wisconsin with computer science education innovation. We have moved through a progression in maturity around recognizing the need for and implementing a propagation plan to achieve this desired outcome. This work showcases several novel innovations with increasing overall effectiveness in creating a more diverse community of computer science educators and learners in the state. We demonstrate a pattern of increased engagement, sustainable change, and measurable impact, that has resulted in a more accessible and inclusive landscape for computer science education in the state of Wisconsin. This dissertation will present five separate novel contributions to the Computer Science Education Field. 1.) The measurement of educators' ability to integrate Computational Thinking concepts into their lessons; 2.) The implementation of Computing content in humanities courses; 3.) The development of a low-cost replacement to the robotics module in the Exploring Computer Science curriculum; 4.) The establishment of a Scratch based programming competition to run in parallel with a traditional programming competition; 5.) Utilizing Disparate Impact Analysis to quantify impact to regional and economic groups in a statewide implementation of Exploring Computer Science. Each of these initiatives will be discussed within an innovation-based propagation cycle framework. This framework, based on Diffusion of Innovation theory, expands on the scope of the typical propagation framework to accommodate the continuous development of Computer Science Education innovations and their injection into the innovation-decision process.