Jennifer Tsan

PhD Student

I am a Ph.D. Computer Science student advised by Dr. Kristy Boyer. My research interests include computer science education, advanced learning technologies, and spoken dialogue systems.

Contributions I have made in the past to computer science education include tutoring students taking computer science classes at West Chester University and designing and teaching lessons on robotics and programming using the Vex Tumbler, Scribbler S2, Finch, and Scratch.

I started my research at NCSU in May 2014 and I had the opportunity to work on the projects Engage and K-5 CS Principles. In the Engage project I worked on a team of 5 to design a game level and setup and run pilot studies on levels of the game. In addition, I worked with 2 members of the team to prepare for and run a PD workshop to develop a middle school curriculum consisting of Engage gameplay days and supplementary lecture and activity days. In the K-5 CS Principles project, I met with a team of 3, a Ph.D. student and the technology teacher at the target elementary school, to design a 5th grade computer science curriculum. The curriculum is currently being held at an elementary school that is taught by the technology teacher on our team.

I am no longer working on Engage but I am continuing my efforts with K-5 CS Principles my current duties involve meeting with the teacher to improve the curriculum, designing the research studies to measure effectiveness, observing the class and collecting data, and organizing, cleaning, and analyzing the data.


Ph.D., Computer Science (in progress)
   North Carolina State University

B.S., Computer Science (2014)
   Computer Security Certificate
   Summa Cum Laude
   West Chester University


conference papers
[1]How Early Does the CS Gender Gap Emerge? A Study of Collaborative Problem Solving in 5th Grade Computer Science. Jennifer Tsan, Kristy Elizabeth Boyer, Collin F. Lynch. Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), 2016, pp. 388-393. [bib]
[2]Supporting Elementary School Computer Science Learning with Interactive Spoken Dialogue Agents. Jennifer Tsan. Proceedings of the International Computing Education Research - Doctoral Consortium, Omaha, Nebraska, 2015, pp. 279-280. [bib]
[1]Supporting K-5 Learners with Dialogue Systems. Jennifer Tsan, Kristy Elizabeth Boyer. Proceedings of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education - Doctoral Consortium, Madrid, Spain, 2015, pp. 873-876. [bib]