Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

computational thinking Related Abstracts

5 Architecture of a Preliminary Course on Computational Thinking

Authors: Mintu Philip, Renumol V. G.


An introductory programming course is a major challenge faced in Computing Education. Many of the introductory programming courses fail because student concentrate mainly on writing programs using a programming language rather than involving in problem solving. Computational thinking is a general approach to solve problems. This paper proposes a new preliminary course that aims to develop computational thinking skills in students, which may help them to become good programmers. The proposed course is designed based on the four basic components of computational thinking - abstract thinking, logical thinking, modeling thinking and constructive thinking. In this course, students are engaged in hands-on problem solving activities using a new problem solving model proposed in this paper.

Keywords: computational thinking, Abstraction, Computing Education, constructive thinking, modelling thinking

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4 Teaching Computer Programming to Diverse Students: A Comparative, Mixed-Methods, Classroom Research Study

Authors: Almudena Konrad, Tomás Galguera


Lack of motivation and interest is a serious obstacle to students’ learning computing skills. A need exists for a knowledge base on effective pedagogy and curricula to teach computer programming. This paper presents results from research evaluating a six-year project designed to teach complex concepts in computer programming collaboratively, while supporting students to continue developing their computer thinking and related coding skills individually. Utilizing a quasi-experimental, mixed methods design, the pedagogical approaches and methods were assessed in two contrasting groups of students with different socioeconomic status, gender, and age composition. Analyses of quantitative data from Likert-scale surveys and an evaluation rubric, combined with qualitative data from reflective writing exercises and semi-structured interviews yielded convincing evidence of the project’s success at both teaching and inspiring students.

Keywords: logic, Teaching Methods, computational thinking, Computing Education, computer programming curriculum

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3 Developing Computational Thinking in Early Childhood Education

Authors: Kalliopi Kanaki, Michael Kalogiannakis


Nowadays, in the digital era, the early acquisition of basic programming skills and knowledge is encouraged, as it facilitates students’ exposure to computational thinking and empowers their creativity, problem-solving skills, and cognitive development. More and more researchers and educators investigate the introduction of computational thinking in K-12 since it is expected to be a fundamental skill for everyone by the middle of the 21st century, just like reading, writing and arithmetic are at the moment. In this paper, a doctoral research in the process is presented, which investigates the infusion of computational thinking into science curriculum in early childhood education. The whole attempt aims to develop young children’s computational thinking by introducing them to the fundamental concepts of object-oriented programming in an enjoyable, yet educational framework. The backbone of the research is the digital environment PhysGramming (an abbreviation of Physical Science Programming), which provides children the opportunity to create their own digital games, turning them from passive consumers to active creators of technology. PhysGramming deploys an innovative hybrid schema of visual and text-based programming techniques, with emphasis on object-orientation. Through PhysGramming, young students are familiarized with basic object-oriented programming concepts, such as classes, objects, and attributes, while, at the same time, get a view of object-oriented programming syntax. Nevertheless, the most noteworthy feature of PhysGramming is that children create their own digital games within the context of physical science courses, in a way that provides familiarization with the basic principles of object-oriented programming and computational thinking, even though no specific reference is made to these principles. Attuned to the ethical guidelines of educational research, interventions were conducted in two classes of second grade. The interventions were designed with respect to the thematic units of the curriculum of physical science courses, as a part of the learning activities of the class. PhysGramming was integrated into the classroom, after short introductory sessions. During the interventions, 6-7 years old children worked in pairs on computers and created their own digital games (group games, matching games, and puzzles). The authors participated in these interventions as observers in order to achieve a realistic evaluation of the proposed educational framework concerning its applicability in the classroom and its educational and pedagogical perspectives. To better examine if the objectives of the research are met, the investigation was focused on six criteria; the educational value of PhysGramming, its engaging and enjoyable characteristics, its child-friendliness, its appropriateness for the purpose that is proposed, its ability to monitor the user’s progress and its individualizing features. In this paper, the functionality of PhysGramming and the philosophy of its integration in the classroom are both described in detail. Information about the implemented interventions and the results obtained is also provided. Finally, several limitations of the research conducted that deserve attention are denoted.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, computational thinking, Object-Oriented Programming, physical science courses

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2 Computational Thinking Based Coding Environment for Coding and Free Semester Mathematics Education in Korea

Authors: Han Hyuk Cho, Hanik Jo


In recent years, coding education has been globally emphasized, and the Free Semester System and coding education were introduced to the public schools from the beginning of 2016 and 2018 respectively in Korea. With the introduction of the Free Semester System and the rising demand of Computational Thinking (CT) capacity, this paper aims to design ‘Coding Environment’ and Minecraft-like Turtlecraft in which learners can design and construct mathematical objects through mathematical symbolic expressions. Students can transfer the constructed mathematical objects to the Turtlecraft environment (open-source codingmath website), and also can print them out through 3D printers. Furthermore, we design learnable mathematics and coding curriculum by representing the figurate numbers and patterns in terms of executable expression in the coding context and connecting them to algebraic symbols, which will allow students to experience mathematical patterns and symbolic coding expressions.

Keywords: Mathematics Education, computational thinking, coding education, TurtleMAL and Turtlecraft

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1 Investigation of the Physical Computing in Computational Thinking Practices, Computer Programming Concepts and Self-Efficacy for Crosscutting Ideas in STEM Content Environments

Authors: Sarantos Psycharis


Physical Computing, as an instructional model, is applied in the framework of the Engineering Pedagogy to teach “transversal/cross-cutting ideas” in a STEM content approach. Labview and Arduino were used in order to connect the physical world with real data in the framework of the so called Computational Experiment. Tertiary prospective engineering educators were engaged during their course and Computational Thinking (CT) concepts were registered before and after the intervention across didactic activities using validated questionnaires for the relationship between self-efficacy, computer programming, and CT concepts when STEM content epistemology is implemented in alignment with the Computational Pedagogy model. Results show a significant change in students’ responses for self-efficacy for CT before and after the instruction. Results also indicate a significant relation between the responses in the different CT concepts/practices. According to the findings, STEM content epistemology combined with Physical Computing should be a good candidate as a learning and teaching approach in university settings that enhances students’ engagement in CT concepts/practices.

Keywords: computational thinking, Self-efficacy, Computer Programming, labview, Arduino, STEM

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