CS201: Research Question Activities

Knowing how to properly research an open-ended question is a skill students traditionally develop in their Social Studies courses, but it's equally important in fully understanding the world of computer science. Research Question activities challenge students to present on a topic related to each unit's central theme, finding and analyzing their own sources of information.

Research Question topics

There are three Research Questions presented throughout the CS201 course, one in each unit

  • Unit 1: How has one specific technology impacted society?
  • Unit 2: How could a specific manual task be automated through the use of technology?
  • Unit 3: How do licensing models like Creative Commons benefit content creators?

Later high school courses will cover additional topics, like the ethics of tracking user data, diversity in the tech sector, and ensuring technology is accessible for all people.

Introductory activity

Prior to the first Research Question activity in Unit 1, there is an Instruction activity that reinforces some key ideas with respect to conducting research. Specifically, students will learn about what makes a source reliable, how to filter out potential biases, and how to properly cite the sources they use in their presentations.

Activity structure

Research Questions are presented to students as short slide decks that introduce the question and provide a list of requirements. Students are given a choice about the specific topic they explore, with a variety of examples provided if they need.

Each Research Question includes a worksheet to guide students through their work. A grading rubric is used for each presentation, providing students feedback on their sources, information relevance, citation formatting, writing style and presentation.

Please feel free to tailor these activities for your students and your classroom! Students can present their findings through writing, by speaking to their classmates, or even by creating a slide deck to highlight interesting visuals they have found.

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