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The Nifty Assignments project gathers great CS assignments to make their ideas and materials freely available for the CSEd community. Do you have a great assignment you would like to share with other educators? We’d love to have you apply to Nifty Assignments!

Authors submitting work to SIGCSE TS 2024 are responsible for complying with all applicable conference authorship policies and those articulated by ACM. If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact program@sigcse2024.sigcse.org for clarification prior to submission.

New for 2024: ACM has made a commitment to collect ORCiD IDs from all published authors (https://authors.acm.org/author-resources/orcid-faqs). All authors on each submission must have an ORCiD ID (https://orcid.org/register) in order to complete the submission process. Please make sure to get your ORCID ID in advance of submitting your work.

Presentation Modality

Authors of accepted submissions in this track will present their work in-person at the conference. The Nifty Assignments Session will also be streamed.

This program is tentative and subject to change.

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Sat 23 Mar

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13:45 - 15:00
Nifty AssignmentsNifty Assignments at Oregon Ballroom 203
Chair(s): Nick Parlante Stanford University, Julie Zelenski Stanford University, Dave Reed Creighton University, Michael Guerzhoy University of Toronto
13:45
12m
Talk
Alphabear Partial SolverHybrid
Nifty Assignments
Ryan Dougherty United States Military Academy
13:57
12m
Talk
Exploring the Scurry of Squirrels in Central ParkHybrid
Nifty Assignments
Rachel Frisbie Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering; Michigan State University, Devin Silvia Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering; Michigan State University, Marcos Caballero Michigan State University, Rachel Roca Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering; Michigan State University, Amanda Bowerman Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering, Krithi Sachithanand Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering
14:10
12m
Talk
Infinity WarHybrid
Nifty Assignments
Yashas Ravi Rutgers University (self), Ana Paula Centeno Rutgers University
14:22
12m
Talk
Modular Virtual 3D Cities AssignmentHybrid
Nifty Assignments
Christopher Tralie Ursinus College
14:35
12m
Talk
Simulating Election VotesHybrid
Nifty Assignments
Aleksandr Popov National Research University Higher School of Economics
14:47
12m
Talk
The Fingerprint Assignment: An Interdisciplinary Assessment for CS I EducationHybrid
Nifty Assignments
Christian Servin El Paso Community College, Ivan Alonso El Paso Community College, Emiliano Garcia El Paso Community College

Deadlines and Submission

Nifty Assignment submissions contain the assignment materials, including the assignment handout and draft sample solutions, and a web page introducing the assignment and containing the assignment metadata for reviewers and adopters. Sample data files, starter and support code files, model grading rubrics, and runnable demos should be included if they are needed.

A submission consists of a zipped directory containing both assignment materials and a web page to introduce the assignment and provide the metadata to reviewers and adopters. Please see the Instructions for Authors and the Nifty Assignments Info page for additional details, and see past Nifty Assignments at http://nifty.stanford.edu/.

Nifty Assignment submissions to the SIGCSE TS 2024 must be made through EasyChair no later than Friday, 13 October 2023. The track chairs reserve the right to desk reject submissions that are incomplete after the deadline has passed.

Important Dates

Due Date Friday, 13 October 2023
Due Time 23:59 AoE (Anywhere on Earth, UTC-12h)
Notification to Authors    Monday, 13 November 2023 tentative
Submission Link https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=sigcsets2024
Session Duration 75 min (12 min per presentation, including Q&A)

Nifty Assignment submissions contain the assignment materials, including the assignment handout and draft sample solutions, and a web page introducing the assignment and containing the assignment metadata for reviewers and adopters. Sample data files, starter and support code files, model grading rubrics, and runnable demos should be included if they are needed. Please see the Nifty Assignments Info page for additional details, and see past Nifty Assignments at http://nifty.stanford.edu/.

A submission consists of a zipped directory containing both assignment materials and a web page to introduce the assignment and provide the metadata to reviewers and adopters.

Authors may find it useful to read the Instruction for Reviewers and the Review Form to understand how their submissions will be reviewed. Also note that when submitting, you will need to provide between 3-7 related topics from the Topics list under Info.

Abstracts

All Nifty Assignment submissions must have a plain-text abstract of up to 250 words. Abstracts should not contain subheadings or citations. The abstract should be submitted in EasyChair along with the zip file containing the submission.

Assignment Zip File

Nifty Assignment proposals must submit a zip archive containing a folder of assignment materials. Gather the materials from your assignment. Both student-facing and instructor-use materials may be appropriate. For example:

  • The assignment handout given to students (PDF or HTML)
  • Sample data files
  • Starter and support code files
  • Autograder tools and/or model grading rubric
  • Runnable demo application

Organize your submission in a directory with the name of the assignment (e.g. “namesurfer”) and your web page as the index.html. Add supporting materials to the directory and link them from your index: handouts, sample application, etc. Please use relative links, so we can move the folder around and it all still works. It is not required that your folder be in final form to apply. The reviewers are evaluating the quality of the assignment itself and its applicability to the SIGCSE TS community, not the details of the presentation at this stage.

The Web Page

The following table of metadata about your assignment should be included in your web page. This information is used by the reviewers to evaluate the proposal and by instructors considering adopting the assignment.

  • Summary: What is the assignment about?
  • Topics: What does it teach?
  • Audience: What niche/student is it suited for (CS1, CS2, advanced, easy, …)?
  • Difficulty: How hard is it?
  • Length: How long does it take?
  • Strengths: What makes it a great assignment?
  • Weaknessess: What potential issues are there? What might be improved?
  • Dependencies: What does it depend on?
  • Variants: Are there any lessons on assignment craft in general that can be drawn from the assignment?
  • Teaching Notes: Additional notes on teaching with the materials.

See the Food Webs Nifty Assignment for a sample Web page.

Accessibility

SIGCSE TS 2024 authors are strongly encouraged to prepare submissions using these templates in such a manner that the content is widely accessible to potential reviewers, track chairs, and readers. Please see these resources for preparing an accessible submission.

Double Anonymized Review

Authors must submit ONLY an anonymized version of the submission. The goal of the anonymized version is to, as much as possible, provide the author(s) of the submission with an unbiased review. The anonymized version should have ALL mentions of the authors removed (including author’s names and affiliation plus identifying information within the body of the submission such as websites or related publications). However, authors are reminded to leave sufficient space in the submitted manuscripts to accommodate author information either at the beginning or end of the submission.  LaTeX/Overleaf users are welcome to use the anonymous option, but are reminded that sufficient room must exist in the submission to include all author blocks when that option is removed.  Authors may choose to use placeholder text in the author information block, but we encourage authors to use obviously anonymized placeholders like “Author 1”, “Affiliation 1”, etc. 

Self-citations need not be removed if they are worded so that the reviewer doesn’t know if the writer is citing themselves. That is, instead of writing “We reported on our first experiment in 2017 in a previous paper [1]”, the writer might write “In 2017, an initial experiment was done in this area as reported in [1].

In addition, please leave enough blank space for what you intend to include for Acknowledgements but do not include the text, especially names and granting agencies and grant numbers.

Submissions to the Nifty Assignments track are reviewed with the dual-anonymous review process.  The  reviewers are unaware of the author identities, and reviewers are anonymous to each other and to the authors. Please make sure the author names and the name of the institution do not appear in the assignment handout. We suggest replacing them with “xxxx” so they are easy to find and fix later. You do not need to anonymize resources like screenshots and code libraries that are part of the assignment.

Review Process

The reviewing process includes a discussion phase after initial reviews have been posted. During this time, the reviewers can examine all reviews and privately discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the work in an anonymous manner through EasyChair. This discussion information can be used by the track chairs in addition to the content of the review in making final acceptance decisions.

The SIGCSE TS 2024 review process does not have a rebuttal period for authors to respond to comments, and all acceptance decisions are final.

For Acceptance: Final Materials, SIGCSE TS Presentation

If your assignment is accepted, you will need to…

  • Finalize your assignment page and its various materials.
  • Finalize a very short blurb for the proceedings (your abstract, in the submission).
  • Attend the SIGCSE Technical Symposium to present your assignment at the Nifty session (10-15 minutes), typically held on Saturday morning.

Your materials will be widely distributed for free on the web (although you may retain copyright), so you will need to be comfortable with that.

ACM Policies

By submitting your article to an ACM Publication, you are hereby acknowledging that you and your co-authors are subject to all ACM Publications Policies, including ACM’s new Publications Policy on Research Involving Human Participants and Subjects (https://www.acm.org/publications/policies/research-involving-human-participants-and-subjects). Alleged violations of this policy or any ACM Publications Policy will be investigated by ACM and may result in a full retraction of your paper, in addition to other potential penalties, as per ACM Publications Policy.

ORCiD ID

ACM has made a commitment to collect ORCiD IDs from all published authors (https://authors.acm.org/author-resources/orcid-faqs). All authors on each submission must have an ORCiD ID (https://orcid.org/register) in order to complete the submission process. Please make sure to get your ORCID ID in advance of submitting your work.

Additional details are in the instructions for authors.

Getting Ready

  • Make sure that all authors have obtained an ORCiD identifier. These identifiers are required for paper submission.
  • Identify at least one author who is willing to review for the symposium. Have that author or those authors sign up to review at https://bit.ly/review-SIGCSE2024. (If they’ve done so already, there is no need to fill out the form a second time.)
  • Review the already-published Nifty Assignments to make sure that you are not replicating prior work.
  • Review the expectations for Nifty Assignments in the Instructions for Authors and on the Nifty Assignments Info Page.
  • Gather your materials (e.g., assignment handout, data files).
  • Create an index.htm file that introduces the project and links to the materials. See the Food Webs Nifty Assignment for an example.
  • Write a 250-word (or less) abstract for publication.
  • Review the additional resources.
  • Review the Instructions for Reviewers and the Review Form to see what reviewers will be looking for in your submission.
  • Look at the list of topics in the Info menu on this site or on EasyChair and pick 3-7 appropriate topics for your submission.
  • Look at the EasyChair submission page to make sure you’ll be prepared to fill everything out. Note that you are permitted to update your submission until the deadline, so it is fine to put draft information there as you get ready.

The Submission on EasyChair

Note: EasyChair does not let you save incomplete submission forms. Please fill out all of the fields in one sitting and save them. After that, you can continue to update the information in the fields and your submission until the deadline.

  • Ensure that your submission is accessible. See accessibility tips for authors for further details.
  • Ensure that your submission is appropriately anonymized for the double-anonymous review process.
  • Put all the material in a single folder.
  • Test the links in your index.html file.
  • Zip the folder.
  • Verify that the zip file unzips correctly.
  • Submit the final version by 11:59 p.m. AOE, Friday, 13 October 2023.

What Gets Published?

The full text of accepted Nifty Assignment submissions will not appear in the ACM digital library. Only the title, author metadata, and the 250-word abstract will be included in the official conference proceedings.

Presentation Details

By SIGCSE policy, at least one author of an accepted Nifty Assignment is required to register, attend, and present the work. SIGCSE TS 2023 will allow for authors to present their Nifty Assignment either in-person or online.

Further details about post-acceptance processes and presentation logistics will be provided by the time acceptance decisions are sent out.

You can view examples from past Nifty Assignments on the Nifty Assignments archive. The Food Webs Assignment provides a good example of what the main page should look like.

Language Editing Assistance

ACM has partnered with International Science Editing (ISE) to provide language editing services to ACM authors. ISE offers a comprehensive range of services for authors including standard and premium English language editing, as well as illustration and translation services. Editing services are at author expense and do not guarantee publication of a manuscript.

Reviewing Phase Start Date End Date
Reviewing Saturday, 14 October 2023   Sunday, 29 October 2023
Discussion & Recommendations   Monday, 30 October 2023   Friday, 3 November 2023

Table of Contents

Overview

The Nifty Assignments project gathers great CS assignments to make their ideas and materials freely available for the CSE community. Thanks for thinking about reviewing for Nifty. To review for Nifty Assignments, you need to read and evaluate 5 submissions. Each submission is an assignment along with all its materials.

Submission and Review System

The review process for SIGCSE TS 2024 will be done using the EasyChair submission system (https://easychair.org/my/conference?conf=sigcsets2024) . Reviewers will be invited to join/login into EasyChair, update their profile, and select 3-5 topics that they are most qualified to review. To do so, reviewers select SIGCSE TS 2024 > My topics from the menu and select at most 5 topics. More topics make it harder for the EasyChair system to make a good set of matches. Reviewers also identify their Conflicts of Interest by selecting SIGCSE TS 2024 > Conference > My Conflicts.

Dual-Anonymous Review Process

Authors must submit ONLY an anonymized version of the submission. The goal of the anonymized version is to, as much as possible, provide the author(s) of the submission with an unbiased review. The anonymized version should have ALL mentions of the authors removed (including author’s names and affiliation plus identifying information within the body of the submission such as websites or related publications). However, authors are reminded to leave sufficient space in the submitted manuscripts to accommodate author information either at the beginning or end of the submission. LaTeX/Overleaf users are welcome to use the anonymous option, but are reminded that sufficient room must exist in the submission to include all author blocks when that option is removed. Authors may choose to use placeholder text in the author information block, but we encourage authors to use obviously anonymized placeholders like “Author 1”, “Affiliation 1”, etc.

Self-citations need not be removed if they are worded so that the reviewer doesn’t know if the writer is citing themselves. That is, instead of writing “We reported on our first experiment in 2017 in a previous paper [1]”, the writer might write “In 2017, an initial experiment was done in this area as reported in [1].

Submissions to the Nifty Assignments track are reviewed with the dual-anonymous review process. The reviewers are unaware of the author identities, and reviewers are anonymous to each other and to the authors.

The reviewing process includes a discussion phase after initial reviews have been posted. During this time, the reviewers can examine all reviews and privately discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the work in an anonymous manner through EasyChair. This discussion information can be used by the track chairs in addition to the content of the review in making final acceptance decisions.

The SIGCSE TS 2024 review process does not have a rebuttal period for authors to respond to comments, and all acceptance decisions are final.

Getting Started Reviewing

Before starting your review, you may be asked by the Track Chairs to declare conflicts with any submitting authors. Please do so in a timely manner so we can avoid conflicts during the assignment process.

As a Reviewer, we ask that you carefully read each submission assigned to you and write a constructive review that concisely summarizes what you believe the submission to be about. When reviewing a submission, consider:

  • the strengths and weaknesses,
  • the contribution to an outstanding SIGCSE TS 2024 program and experience for attendees, and
  • how it brings new ideas or extends current ideas through replication to the field and to practitioners and researchers of computing education.

We strongly recommend that you prepare your review in a separate document; EasyChair has been known to time out.

Nifty Review Guidelines

As a Reviewer, we ask that you carefully read each submission assigned to you and write a constructive review that concisely summarizes the assignment and its fit as a Nifty Assignment. When reviewing a submission, consider:

  • Is this a great assignment?
  • Does it teach topics of interest to many?
  • Are the materials high quality and adoptable by others?
  • Is it different from assignments that have already been published by Nifty Assignments?

While your review text should clearly support your scores and recommendation, please do not include your preference for acceptance or rejection of a submission in the feedback to the authors. Instead, use the provided radio buttons to make a recommendation (the authors will not see this) based on your summary review and provide any details that refer to your recommendation directly in the confidential comments to the APC or track chairs. Remember that as a reviewer, you will only see a small portion of the submissions, so one that you recommend for acceptance may be rejected when considering the other reviewer recommendations and the full set of submissions.

Discussion

The discussion and recommendation period provides the opportunity for the Track Chairs to discuss reviews and feedback so they can provide the best recommendation for acceptance or rejection to the Program Chairs and that the submission is given full consideration in the review process. We ask that Reviewers engage in discussion when prompted by other reviewers, the Track Chairs by using the Comments feature of EasyChair. During this period you will be able to revise your review based on the discussion, but you are not required to do so. The Track Chairs will make a final recommendation to the Program Chairs from your feedback.

Recalcitrant Reviewers

Reviewers who don’t submit reviews, have reviews with limited constructive feedback, do not engage effectively in the discussion phase or submit inappropriate reviews will be removed from the reviewer list (as per SIGCSE policy). Recalcitrant reviewers will be informed of their removal from the reviewer list. Reviewers with repeated offenses (two within a three year period) will be removed from SIGCSE reviewing for three years.

The following text represents the review form as of 1 July 2023. There may be minor updates, which we expect to have in place at least a month before submissions are due.

Summary: Please provide a brief summary of the submission, its audience, and its main point(s).

Familiarity: Rate your personal familiarity with the topic area of this submission in relation to your research or practical experience.

Originality (Nifty): Please indicate how original this submission is. Please explain your choice.

Overall evaluation: Please provide a detailed justification that includes constructive feedback that summarizes the strengths & weaknesses of the submission and clarifies your scores. Both the score and the review text are required, but remember that the authors will not see the overall recommendation score (only your review text). You should NOT directly include your preference for acceptance or rejection in your review.

Questions? Use the SIGCSE TS Nifty Assignments contact form.