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PhDComputer Science Education

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Application fee €100 one-time
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Computer Science Education has become a political priority in Estonia since 2017, informatics curricula for basic schools and gymnasiums have been recently updated and equipped with up-to-date digital textbooks and other learning resources. The main issue that still remains is serious lack of qualified teachers who are able to teach these new courses.

In 2018, HITSA and IT Academy granted a significant financial support to Tallinn University to re-open and update the masters program “Informatics teacher, school ICT manager” that has been closed since 2016 due to low enrollment numbers. Any university that is dedicated to deliver and develop a masters program should guarantee the research-based foundation for this field of study, and DTI has lacked high level research in the field of Computer Science Education (CSE).

Herewith, DTI is applying for a PhD position that would allow to increase the research and teaching capacity of DTI in the field of CSE. The research topic should be related to the current needs of schools and teachers in Estonian context, and on the other hand, also to match the recent trends in CSE research community. Such topic could be, for instance, pedagogy-driven design of digital learning environment for Computer Science Education.

Research Areas and Possible Topics:

Online learning platforms and interactive learning resources, and the large-scale data streams that they generate, have the potential to transform education as well as our scientific understanding of learning. Computer Science Education (CSE) researchers are increasingly making use of large collections of data generated by the click streams coming from eTextbooks, interactive programming environments, and other smart content. However, CSE research faces barriers that slow progress:

Collection of computer science learning process and outcome data generated by one system is not compatible with that from other systems; Computer science problem solving and learning (e.g., open-ended coding solutions to complex problems) is quite different from the type of data that mainstream learning analytics focuses on; Digital learning resources, tools and platforms used in CSE are often not designed with pedagogy in mind.

One of these prioritised research topics should be addressed by envisaged PhD research. In the future perspective, there is a need for a full-time senior lecturer (a PhD holder who is also active in CSE research) who would teach the core subjects in the informatics teacher education program, to guarantee the high academic level of the program.

Contact: Mart Laanpere (

Not available for applying at the moment

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Not available for applying at the moment

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States