Stephanie Ludi

University of North Texas

Stephanie is speaking at

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm


  • Stan Kurkovsky (Speakers) Chair of Computer Science Department, Central Connecticut State University
  • Stephanie Ludi (Speakers) University of North Texas


Stan Kurkovsky (Central Connecticut State University, United States)

Stephanie Ludi (University of North Texas, United States)

Workshop 109: LEGO-based Active Learning Exercises for Teaching Software Development

ABSTRACT. LEGO is a construction toy familiar to many students. Creating software, regardless of scale, is often similar to building with tangible objects, such as houses or bridges--an analogy that is often used in the classroom. In this workshop, we will show how to use LEGO bricks as a surrogate representing the lines of code, software objects, or other artifacts in the process of constructing software systems in order to better explain these concepts. LEGO-based analogies and case studies enacted as hands-on exercises for student teams help develop a better understanding of the underlying concepts, while keeping students deeply engaged in the course material. This workshop is intended for faculty teaching undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on software development, software engineering, and related concepts. This workshop will also benefit other educators looking for ways to supplement their courses with engaging and playful hands-on activities aimed to strengthen the teamwork, oral communication, problem solving, and design skills of students. We will practice several hands-on LEGO-based activities during the workshop. Specific topics of these activities will include change management and object-oriented interfaces, as well as activities specific to the phases of software development. Workshop participants will learn about other LEGO-based activities that focus on a broad range of topics including requirements engineering, architectural design, and software dependability. A laptop is not required for this workshop. This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation Awards 1611905, 1709244 and a 2015 ACM SIGCSE Special Project grant. For more information visit

4:10 pm - 4:35 pm



Stephanie Ludi (University of North Texas, United States)

Debra Bernstein (TERC, United States)

Karen Mutch-Jones (TERC, United States)

ABSTRACT. Making technology and computer science learning experiences accessible to students with disabilities is an important step in preparing them to enter the workforce of the future--one in which many jobs will require skills to solve problems with technology. This paper presents the tool and curricular enhancements developed to make the Exploring Computer Science Robotics unit accessible to students with visual impairments (VI). It describes the evolution of these enhancements, based on formative evaluation studies, to increase support as VI students engaged in building and programming LEGO Mindstorms robots. Results describe the ways in which enhancements were iteratively designed in response to student data describing engagement and confidence, as well as their emerging understanding of top-down and bottom-up processes in robotics design and programming.

4:35 pm - 5:00 pm


  • Stephanie Ludi (Speakers) University of North Texas
  • Matt Huenerfauth (Speakers) Rochester Institute of Technology, United States
  • Vicki Hanson (Speakers) Rochester Institute of Technology, United States
  • Nidhi Palan (Speakers) Rochester Institute of Technology, United States
  • Paula Garcia (Speakers) Rochester Institute of Technology, United States


Stephanie Ludi (University of North Texas, United States)

Matt Huenerfauth (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)

Vicki Hanson (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)

Nidhi Palan (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)

Paula Garcia (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)

ABSTRACT. An increasing importance of accessibility awareness and knowledge emanates from a moral imperative and as an employment differentiator. It is important that educational programs have a demonstrated ability to teach these skills. In this paper, we focus on the role that educational courses can play in increasing accessibility awareness for undergraduate students. We review literature indicating that a number of accessibility teaching interventions have been reported; yet the evaluation of their effectiveness has not been conducted in a consistent manner. We report on our 3-semester evaluation of undergraduate students’ accessibility awareness and knowledge following a week of accessibility lectures as part of courses on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), where a subset of students also interact with stakeholders with disabilities during the conduct of the course projects. Gains in awareness and knowledge occur when accessibility lectures were part of the course. These gains are compared across the teams who interacted with a person with a disability and teams with no such interaction. In addition, we provide the test battery developed to measure these skills, to enable other researchers to conduct evaluations of the effectiveness of interventions for teaching inclusive thinking in undergraduate computing at their own institutions.

Add to my calendar


Create your personal schedule through the official app, Whova!

Get Started