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What YOU Think of CSTA

Once a year we send out a survey link to members. We alternate between a survey that focuses on the landscape of Computer Science education (the National Computer Science High School Survey) and one that focuses on how CSTA is doing to meet the needs of our membership.

As the chair of the Membership Committee, I had the fun task of compiling the results of the membership survey into information for the organization. Along the way, I read every single comment that our respondents wrote. One of them asked if this information would ever be made public, if he would ever get to see how everyone else answered these questions. So here are the highlights:

Why did you join CSTA?
To belong to a community dedicated to excellence in K-12 Computer Science education and for access to resources and instructional materials (tied at 73%). Followed by access to cutting-edge research about current teaching practices and technologies at 70% and preferred access to vital professional development opportunities such as national symposia and workshops at 63%. Having a say in the development of critical policies concerning curriculum, standards, and certification came in last at 53%.

Of all the resources that CSTA provides, which are the most useful to you? And the ranking is...
1. CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards and resources
2. Careers in computing resources (posters, brochures)
3. CSTA Regional/Chapter Workshops
4. CSTA Research (National Computer Science High School Survey)
5. Advocacy information
6. White papers (New Imperatives, Equity, Certification)
7. CSTA Annual Conference

The CSTA Board has a lot of good ideas of resources that would be useful to our members. We asked you to tell us which of our proposed membership benefits was most important. Here are the results:
1. More computer science curriculum resources
2. Regional conferences and workshops
3. Teacher mentorship program
4. More information for administrators
5. More brochures for students and parents
6. More classroom posters

What do you think of the Website, the Voice, the Advocate Blog?
Almost all members use the CSTA website "once in a while" and rated it "good" in all categories. Most of the respondents read the Voice, in fact only 38 respondents said they never read it. Of the respondents who do read it, most rated it "good" in all categories. This blog, however, did not fare as well. Almost half the respondents have never read the blog and 86% have never posted a comment. The half that have read it, rated it "good" in all categories.

How do you use the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards, the Crosswalk documents, and our research?
It turns out that there is still a significant population that is not aware of these resources or does not use them because they do not know where to find them. Thirty-five percent of respondents do not use the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards, and 63% of them indicated that they either are not aware of them or do not know where to find them. Only 21% of respondents have used the Crosswalk documents. The respondents who have not used them indicated that the reason was because they were not aware of them (56%) or do not know where to find them (26%). The results were similar for the research papers.

But, overall, what you do think of CSTA?
Only 1% of the respondents indicated that CSTA does not provide value to them as a professional. The same 1% would not recommend membership in CSTA to a colleague. Has membership in CSTA facilitated connections with other computer science educators? 63% say Yes!

Tammy Pirmann
School District Representative, CSTA Board of Directors
Chair of the Membership Committee

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