CSE 492T, Autumn 2020: Syllabus

CSE 492T: Equitable and Inclusive Computer Science Pedagogy


Topics in the design and implementation of computer science courses through an equity and inclusion lens, with a particular emphasis on higher education. Focusing on applications of evidence-based best practices and choosing and adapting approaches based on concerns and characteristics specific to a given set of students. Includes basics of teaching and learning theory, pedagogical and assessment techniques, and equity, diversity, and justice concerns. Designed for aspiring teachers or those interested in practical issues of teaching computer science, with the goal of enabling students to create effective, equitable, and inclusive learning environments in their own classrooms.

Learning objectives

At the end of the seminar, students will be able to:

  • Describe and explain how issues of equity, diversity, access, and justice intersect with and impact educational systems, and CS education in particular
  • Apply and evaluate the usage of equitable, evidence-based approaches to teaching CS
  • Critically read research in education, CS education, and learning sciences, and consider how to apply the results in practice

Required course work

Required work for the seminar will include three components:

    Readings and written responses (~10-15)
    Read assigned research papers, book chapters, and other relevant material. There will usually be an assigned reading for at least one session per week, and some weeks will have readings for both sessions. Each reading will be accompanied by a few questions that should be answered in a public post on the course message board. (If you are uncomfortable sharing some of your responses with the full class, you may make a private post, but please do this sparingly.)
    Teaching observations (~3-4)
    Visit and observe a computer science class and complete a 1-2 page report and critque of the class utilizing principles and ideas discussed in the seminar. (A template for these reports will be provided.) Observations should be of a class you are not teaching and if at all possible, in which you are not a student. This will allow you to focus on the observation without having to take on a dual role.
    Culminating project
    Develop a written plan for a full unit of a computer science course of your choice and deliver a short excerpt from one lesson in your module; OR explore an existing issue in equity/inclusion, propose concrete ways to address the issue, and lead an short interactive sesson on the issue and your propsoals. In addition, review/critique a few classmates' projects and delivery.

To receive credit for the seminar, you must:

  • Attend and participate in at least 75% of course meetings (~15 of 20)
  • Complete at least 75% of reading responses (exact number TBD)
  • Complete at least 75% of teaching observations (~3 of 4)
  • Complete and receive a satisfactory review on your project


Students of all backgrounds and experiences are welcome in this seminar and are entitled to be treated respectfully by classmates and course staff. If at any time you feel that you are not experiencing an inclusive environment, or you are made to feel uncomfortable, disrespected, or excluded, please report the incident so that we may address the issue and maintain a supportive and inclusive learning environment. You may contact the course staff or the CSE academic advisors to express your concerns. Should you feel uncomfortable bringing up an issue with a staff member directly, you may also consider sending anonymous feedback or contacting the UW Office of the Ombud.

For more information, please see the Allen School Inclusiveness Statement.

Religious accommodations

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UWs policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form.

Disability Resources for Students

Your experience in this class is important. It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please activate your accommodations via myDRS so we can discuss how they will be implemented in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), contact DRS directly to set up an Access Plan. DRS facilitates the interactive process that establishes reasonable accommodations. Contact DRS at disability.uw.edu.

Guidance to students outside the U.S.

Faculty members at U.S. universities—including the University of Washington—have the right to academic freedom which includes presenting and exploring topics and content that other governments may consider to be illegal and, therefore, choose to censor. Examples may include topics and content involving religion, gender and sexuality, human rights, democracy and representative government, and historic events.

If, as a UW student, you are living outside of the United States while taking courses remotely, you are subject to the laws of your local jurisdiction. Local authorities may limit your access to course material and take punitive action towards you. Unfortunately, the University of Washington has no authority over the laws in your jurisdictions or how local authorities enforce those laws.

If you are taking UW courses outside of the United States, you have reason to exercise caution when enrolling in courses that cover topics and issues censored in your jurisdiction. If you have concerns regarding a course or courses that you have registered for, please contact your academic advisor who will assist you in exploring options.