CSE 492T, Autumn 2020: Project

Culminating Project

Last updated: November 12, 2020


Throughout this course, we will consider a wide range of topics and issues related to computer science pedagogy, with a particular focus on equity and inclusion. Ideally, our readings, discussions, and activities will help you develop your own ideas on how to become a strong and more equitable educator. This project will give you an opportunity to begin to put those ideas into practice.

You will have the option of two "routes" for this project: the Curriculum Design route or the Equity/Inclusion Improvement route. Both routes are intended to require comparable amounts of work and draw on comparable ideas and concepts; you should choose the one that better matches your goals for your learning in this course.

Curriculum Design Route

For the Curriculum Design route, you will design a single unit of a computer science (or related) course of your choosing.

Chosen course

You may select an existing course you are familiar with (at UW or from elsewhere) or a hypothetical course that you are interested in exploring. You will not need to design an entire course, but you should have a sense of the context of the course you are working with. (If you choose an existing course, your unit does not need to be able to "drop in" to the course in it's current form. You may assume changes elsewhere in the curriculum.) Your chosen course can have any format (traditional "lecture and section", labs, seminars, etc.) and topics (core technical content, research topics, ethics, implications of technology, etc.).

Chosen unit

As a guide, your unit should cover roughly one week of a standard university-level course, but can vary based on your specific choices. At minimum, your unit should include roughly two hours of class sessions (could be one 1:50 session, two 50-minute sessions, etc.) and one assessment. You may include more if you see fit. You are encouraged to focus more on what would make a cohesive unit for your chosen course and less on these specific minimums.

Required curriculum components

Your project should include the following components:

  • A brief summary of the course you have chosen (main themes, target students, assumed previous experience, etc.)
  • A brief description of the context for your unit (where in the course it falls, what previous material has been covered, etc.)
  • A list of learning objectives for the unit
  • "Lesson plans" for each class session (at least "two hours" worth), including individual learning objectives, suggested teaching methods/techniques, anticipated points of student confusion/misunderstanding, and other relevant details
    • Your lesson plans do not need to be so detailed as to be able to be utilized "out of the box," but should include enough information to make clear what the lesson would look like when implemented
  • A description and model of any relevant assessments (at least one), both formative and summative (as appropriate)
    • You do not need to write the full assessment (e.g. a full programming assignment spec or a full set of exam problems), but should provide enough detail and/or examples to be able to reasonably create the assessment
  • An overview of any potential equity or inclusion concerns in your unit and suggestions for addressing them

Equity/Inclusion Improvement Route

For the Equity/Inclusion Improvement route, you will explore a specific equity or inclusion concern in a computer science (or related) course of your choosing and propose ways to address this concern.

Identified concern

You may select any issue or concern related to equity, inclusion, or a similar issue that you are interested in exploring. Ideally, you will frame your choice in a specific course, topic, curriculum, etc., though your work may have broader implications and applications. You may select a specific issue you have observed or experienced or one that you have read or heard about. Either way, your chosen concern should have a real impact on students in the course in question.


Your project will consist of a "digital display" describing your identified concern and suggestions for improvement (see below). Your work could take the form of a slideshow presentation, a digital poster, a web page, or any other easily distributed and consumed format. Your work should include sufficient information to be able to consumed and understood on its own—that is, it should not require an accompanying presentation or narration. You may use any combination of text, images, videos, graphs, etc. that you like.

Required project components

Your project should include the following components:

  • A clear statement of the concern you have identified, including the specific course, curriculum, etc. you are targeting
  • A description of the population(s) of students that are harmed or impacted by this concern
  • Specific, concrete ideas or suggestions for addressing the concern and improving the experience of the students you identifed
    • Your suggestions should be specific to the context (course, curriculum, etc.) you have targeted, but may also have braoder implications
  • Descriptions of possible barriers to implementing your ideas and how these barriers could be overcome
  • Data, resources, and/or references on the impact of the concern and the likely effectiveness of your proposals
    • Your ideas do not need to have been already proven effective, but they should be grounded in existing evidence, research, or experiences that suggest they would be likely to succeed


Both routes will also include a short (roughly 10 minute) presentation, to be held either during the last scheduled class or during exam week (based on student preferences and availability).

  • Curriculum design presentations should consist of a mock delivery of a short segment of one of the designed lessons. This will not necessarily be a "micro-teach" in which content is presented lecture-style; it should include a demonstration of some of the teaching techniques described in the lesson and the means of maintaining an equitable and inclusive environment.
  • Equity/Inclusion improvement presentations should consist of an interactive treatment of the identified concern and proposed means of addessing the issue. This could be a short presentation followed by a Q&A, a moderated discussion, a guided exploration, or any other interactive format.

In addition to giving your own presentationm, you will attend, participate in, and provide feedback on the presentations of 2-3 classmates.