Dr. Nina Bresnihan

Dr. Nina Bresnihan

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

3531896 2704https://www.scss.tcd.ie/Nina.Bresnihan

Biography

Nina Bresnihan is an Assistant Professor and Course Director of Computer Science Joint Honours in the School of Computer Science & Statistics, Trinity College Dublin. She is a co-convenor of the Centre for Research in IT and Education (CRITE). Her research interests include Computational Thinking, Computing Education, and Gender and Computing. Her current focus is on Parental Involvement in Computer Science Education.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

  • Sullivan, K., Byrne, J. R., Bresnihan, N., O'Sullivan, K. & Tangney, B., , Designing an After School Computing Programme for Girls, 45th Annual Conference Frontiers in Education (FIE), El Paso, USA, 2015, edited by IEEE , (32614 2015), 2015, pp1 - 5Conference Paper, 2015, DOI
  • Kirrane, R., Bresnihan, N., O'Reilly, C. & Kehoe, S., Blended Learning for Gifted Learners - Exploring the Flipped Classroom, WCGTC World Conference 2015, Odense Denmark , 10-15 August 2015, 2015Conference Paper, 2015
  • Nina Bresnihan, Richard Millwood, Elizabeth Oldham, Glenn Strong and Diana Wilson, A critique of the current trend to implement computing in schools, Pedagogika, 65, (3), 2015, p292 - 300Journal Article, 2015, URL
  • Sharing Places, Enhancing Spaces: An Investigation into the Effects of Mobile Networking Technologies on Physical Communities in, editor(s)Morgan, K., Brebbia, C.A., Sanchez, J. and Voiskounsky, A. , Human Perspectives in the Internet Society: Culture, Psychology and Gender, Southhampton, WIT Press, 2004, pp387 - 396, [Bresnihan, N., and Doyle, L.]Book Chapter, 2004
  • Bresnihan, N., and Doyle, L., Re-placing Communities: The Case for the Use of Networking Technologies to Enhance Local Awareness of Physically Shared Spaces, CiberArt Bilbao , Bilbao, Spain, 25 - 29 April 2004, 2004, pp200 - 215Conference Paper, 2004
  • Richard Millwood, Glenn Strong, Nina Bresnihan, and Pamela Cowan., CTWINS - improving Computational Thinking confidence in educators through paired activities, Proceedings of the 11th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, ACM, New York, NY, USA., 2016, pp106 - 108Conference Paper, 2016, URL
  • Bresnihan, N., and Doyle, L., , An Investigation into the Effects of Mobile Networking Technologies on Physical Communities, International conference Culture & Impact , Cadiz, Spain, 8-10 September, 2004, pp387 - 400Conference Paper, 2004, URL
  • Elizabeth Oldham, Pamela Cowan, Richard Millwood, Glenn Strong, Nina Bresnihan, Mags Amond, and Lisa Hegarty, CTwins: Does Computational Thinking win when Coding Twins are born?, Educational Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference, Cork, Ireland, 20-22 April 2017, 2017Conference Paper, 2017
  • Elizabeth Oldham, Pamela Cowan, Richard Millwood, Glenn Strong, Nina Bresnihan, Mags Amond, and Lisa Hegarty, Developing confident computational thinking through teacher twinning online, 2017 ATEE Spring Conference - Innovation, Technologies and Research in Education, Riga, Latvia, 12-13th May 2017, 2017Conference Paper, 2017
  • Bresnihan, N., Millwood, R., Strong, G. , Defining Computational Thinking across the Lifecourse, British Education Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference 2015, Belfast, Northern Ireland, September 15-17, 201, 2015Conference Paper, 2015
  • Strong, G., Higgins, C., Bresnihan, N., Millwood, R., A Survey of the Prior Programming Experience of Undergraduate Computing and Engineering Students in Ireland, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, World Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE), Dublin, 3-6 July 2017, edited by Tatnall A., Webb M. , 515, Springer, 2018, pp473 - 483Conference Paper, 2018, DOI , URL
  • Oldham, Elizabeth; Cowan, Pamela; Millwood, Richard; Strong, Glenn; Bresnihan, Nina; Amond, Mags; Hegarty, Lisa, Developing Confident Computational Thinking through Teacher Twinning Online, International Journal of Smart Education and Urban Society (IJSEUS) , 9, (1), 2018, p61 - 75Journal Article, 2018, DOI
  • Richard Millwood, Elizabeth Oldham, Pamela Cowan, Glenn Strong, Nina Bresnihan, Mags Amond, and Lisa Hegarty, Art and Programming in Pairs to Develop Computational Thinking, 2017 ATEE Annual Conference - Changing Perspectives and Approaches in Contemporary Teaching, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 23-25 October 2017, 2017Oral Presentation, 2017
  • Strong, G., O'Carroll, S., & Bresnihan, N., A block based editor for Python, Proceedings of the 13th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, 13th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education , Potsdam, Germany, October 2018, ACM, 2018, pp30 - 31Conference Paper, 2018
  • Bresnihan, N.; Strong, G.; Fisher, L.; Millwood, R. and Lynch, Á, OurKidsCode: Facilitating Families to Be Creative with Computing, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, CSEDU 2019 : 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, Heraklion,Crete, May 2- May 4, 2019, 1, 2019, pp519 - 530Conference Paper, 2019, DOI
  • Nina Bresnihan, Glenn Strong, Lorraine Fisher, Richard Millwood, and Áine Lynch, OurKidsCode: a National Programme to get Families Involved in CS Education, Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE '19), Aberdeen, Scotland UK, July 15-17, 2019, ACM, 2019, pp298 - 298Conference Paper, 2019
  • Prior Programming Experience of Undergraduate Computing and Engineering Students in Ireland in, editor(s)Tatnall A. , Encyclopedia of Education and Information Technologies, Cham, Springer, 2020, [Strong G., Higgins C., Bresnihan N., Millwood R.]Book Chapter, 2020
  • Nina Bresnihan, Aibhín Bray, Lorraine Fisher, Glenn Strong, Richard Millwood, Brendan Tangney, Parental Involvement in Computer Science Education and Computing Attitudes and Behaviours in the Home: Model and Scale Development, ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 21, (3), 2021, p1 - 24Journal Article, 2021
  • N Bresnihan, A Bray, L Fisher, G Strong, R Millwood, B Tangney, Parental involvement in computer science education and computing attitudes and behaviours in the home: Model and scale development, ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGSCE) 2022, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, March 2-7, 2022, ACM SIGSCEInvited Talk, 2022, URL
  • Bresnihan N., Strong G., Fisher L., Millwood R., Lynch A., Increasing Parental Involvement in Computer Science Education Through the Design and Development of Family Creative Computing Workshops, Communications in Computer and Information Science, 1220, 2020, p479 - 502Journal Article, 2020, DOI
  • Strong, Glenn and North, Ben and Fiori, Sara and Gillespie, Brian and Bresnihan, Nina, Pytch - Supporting Learners over the Bridge from Blocks to Text, Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on United Kingdom & Ireland Computing Education Research, UKICER '23, Swansea, Wales, September 7-8, 2023, Association for Computing Machinery, 2023, pp1Conference Paper, 2023
  • Family learning in the context of computer science education in, editor(s)Leask, M., & Younie, S , eaching and Learning with Technologies in the Primary School, London, Routledge, 2024, pp299 - 317, [Bresnihan, N., Millwood, R., Strong, G., & Caldwell, L]Book Chapter, 2024, DOI
  • Bresnihan, N., Can ICT be Successfully Utilised to Support and Scaffold the Activities of Writing Support Groups for Novice Researchers?, CELT 2012: The Written Word - Writing Publishing and Communication in Higher Education, NUI Galway, Ireland, 7-8th June, 2012 , 2012Conference Paper, 2012
  • Kirrane, R. & Bresnihan, N., Digital Age Pedagogies and Gifted Students: The Flipped Classroom Approach, The 14th International Conference of the European Council for Higher Ability (ECHA), Ljubljana, Slovenia, September, 2014, 2014Conference Paper, 2014
  • Bresnihan, N., Byrnes J., Millwood, R., Strong, G., Scratching through the Ceiling, Scratch AMS 7th International Scratch Conference, Amsterdam, 12-15 August 2015, 2015Conference Paper
  • Nina Bresnihan, OurKidsCode: Family Creative Coding Workshops, CoderDojo Coolest Projects, RDS, Dublin , 26 May, 2018, CoderDojoInvited Talk
  • Richard Millwood, Nina Bresnihan, Dermot Walsh, and Joy Hooper, Review of Literature on Computational Thinking, https://www.ncca.ie/media/3557/primary-coding_review-of-literature-on-computational-thinking.pdf, National Council for Curriculum Assessment, 2018Report
  • Moloney E. and Bresnihan, N., Can a WordPress Blog with Asynchronous Chat Aid the Motivation of Irish Oral Students?, EdTech 2013 , UCC, Cork, Ireland, 30th-31st May 2013, 2013Conference Paper
  • Lupton, B. and Bresnihan, N., Exploratory Case Studies at the Interface of Divergent Thinking and Online Learning, EdTech 2012: Digital Literacies for Life , NUI Maynooth, Ireland, 31 May-1 June 2012 , 2012Conference Paper
  • Kirrane, R. & Bresnihan, N., The Flipped Classroom: Aligning Appropriate Strategies through Pedagogical Analysis., EdTech2014: The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA), Dublin, Ireland, May 2014, 2014Conference Paper

Research Expertise

I am co-convenor of the Centre for Research in IT and Education (CRITE), a collaboration between the School of Education and the School of Computer Science and Statistics. "Our research agenda includes both the exploration of how technology can be used to enhance teaching & learning and the advancement of theories, research, tools and social practices of computers in education." Current research in the Centre focuseds on 3 main strands: Computing education, Technology-mediated learning, and digital competence. My research interests lie in computing education, with particular regard to gender, ethics, and inclusion. My current focus is on parental involvement in computing education and I am the PI for the SFI-funded project OurKidsCode began by investigating factors that impact on the quantity and quality of Parental Involvement in Primary School children's computing education. Findings have provided an evidence-base for the design of interventions to improve that involvement which are currently being rolled out nationally for evaluation. The research is being conducted in line with the College Engaged Research Framework, and as well as widespread consultation with parents, we are working with stakeholders such as our partners the National Parents Council, and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

  • Title
    OurKidsCode: Delivering Family Creative Coding Workshops Nationally
    Summary
    Funding was awarded for the national roll-out and evaluation of the OurKidCode programme along with further research into Parental Involvement in Computer Science education.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    01/01/2020
    Date To
    31/12/2021
  • Title
    Pytch Phase 2: Bridging Block to Text in the Curriculum
    Summary
    Our Pytch programming environment, created with support from SFI Discover, is a system to help learners at a crucial stage in computing education. The transition from block-based programming to text-based programming is widely recognised as a challenge to learners and educators alike. Pytch's unique insight in addressing this difficulty is the preservation of the Scratch-style programming model within a Python programming environment. Our results from phase 1 indicate that we have a novel, powerful approach that can support learners more effectively than existing systems. At the same time our user engagement has revealed the need to expand the platform, in two senses, which we propose to address in Phase 2. First, we will scale up our evaluation of the core environment, among an increased geographic breadth, and diversity of users. Emerging feedback will continue to steer development, improving Pytch"s ability to support educators and learners of all types. Second, we will scale out the scope of the offering. As progress is being made in bringing computer science and coding into earlier stages of the national educational system, the blocks/text transition problem is pressing, and needs a holistic solution. Learning materials and support features built around the core Pytch environment will result in a classroom-ready framework to ease the learning pathway across this difficult transition point. Our initiative will design this framework in a co-creation process with educators and learners, ensuring that the necessary supports to retain learners in the STEM pipeline will be in place exactly when they are needed.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    01/01/2023
    Date To
    31/12/2024
  • Title
    CTwins
    Summary
    The CTwins project is a cross-border initiative targeting teachers of subjects other than Computing in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland who want to use technology in the classroom but lack the confidence to do so. It aims to develop confidence in educators' capacity to use computational thinking through a playful and supportive introduction to computer programming.
    Funding Agency
    Google
    Date From
    01/09/16
    Date To
    01/04/17
  • Title
    OurKidsCode Phase 2: Supporting families continued engagement in computing
    Summary
    Phase 2 of the workshop extended the single-workshop model of the OurKidsCode project to encourage more sustained and deeper involvement through a 4-part workshop series and a community of practice. It involved the design, development and evaluation of this series and the expansion of the OurKidsCode offering to encourage continuing engagement and Parental Involvement in CS Education.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    01/01/2019
    Date To
    31/12/2019
  • Title
    OurKidsCode: Establishing and sustaining family creative-coding clubs across Ireland
    Summary
    This funding supports the further expansion of the OurKidsCode project by supporting communities throughout rural Ireland to establish and run family-run coding clubs. A partnership with the Department of Rural and Community Development, provides access to over 300 Broadband Connection Points, local expertise and further funding for training and delivery, thereby embedding the programme into rural communities and providing opportunities and support for self-sustaining family STEAM activities. The infrastructure established will also be available to other providers, greatly increasing the capacity to deliver STEAM Education across Ireland.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    01/01/2023
    Date To
    31/12/2024
  • Title
    Pytch: A Bridge from Block to Text Programming
    Summary
    The Pytch project aims to improve takeup of Computer Science (CS) in Ireland by smoothing the transition from 'beginner' programming environments to the mainstream tools used in later years and in industry. It will do this through the development of a new environment which brings a familiar Scratch-style programming model to the Python language. Beginner-oriented block-based programming environments are popular for introducing learners to computing and are widely used in both formal and informal settings. There is considerable evidence that students suffer a significant drop-off in engagement and confidence in their programming ability in the transition to text-based tools such as Python. Pytch will support learners at this crucial stage, where they often turn from viewing coding and CS as a fun, creative activity to seeing it as a drier and more difficult 'subject'. Learners will be able to continue using much of what they have learned through successful introductions to programming with Scratch as they move on to programming in Python. Pytch will achieve this by: (1) providing a browser-based environment that supports writing engaging multimedia content in Python, (2) retaining the Scratch programming model of Sprites and events so learners need not immediately learn an entirely new programming paradigm, and (3) providing a complete online environment, including tutorials, and other supports.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    01/01/2022
    Date To
    31/12/2022
  • Title
    OurKidsCode
    Summary
    OurKidsCode is a joint project between Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the National Parents' Council (NPC) which aims to promote and support parents/guardians who wish to engage their primary-school children's interest and activity in coding and Computational Thinking (CT). It proposes to do this through the design, development and delivery of family creative coding workshops which look at ways of engaging children and their families as computational co-creators. We are aiming to strengthen the social support around a child by engaging their peers, families, and community as learning partners as they pursue pathways into computing.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    01/01/2018
    Date To
    31/12/2018

Education, Computer science - Information Systems,

Recognition

  • NUI Postgraduate Fellowship 1993-1995
  • Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE) - Teacher Education and Digital Technology R&D Community ongoing
  • Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) ongoing
  • Computers in Education Society of Ireland (CESI) ongoing
  • the Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information (INSTICC) ongoing
  • ACM SIGCSEire ongoing
  • Computing at School (CAS) ongoing
  • External Examiner, BA Creative Digital Media, Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin 2007-10
  • External Examiner, BA Communications and Multimedia, Dublin Business School. 2006-09
  • Commissioned by National Council for Curriculum & Assessment (NCCA) to write a report on Computational Thinking at Primary level. 2018