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Algorithmic Realism: Expanding the Boundaries of Algorithmic Thought Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency Green, Ben; Viljoen, Salomé Although computer scientists are eager to help address social problems, the field faces a growing awareness that many well-intentioned applications of algorithms in social contexts have led to significant harm. We argue that addressing this gap between the field's desire to do good and the harmful impacts of many of its interventions requires looking to the epistemic and methodological underpinnings of algorithms. We diagnose the dominant mode of algorithmic reasoning as "algorithmic formalism" and describe how formalist orientations lead to harmful algorithmic interventions. Addressing these harms requires pursuing a new mode of algorithmic thinking that is attentive to the internal limits of algorithms and to the social concerns that fall beyond the bounds of algorithmic formalism. To understand what a methodological evolution beyond formalism looks like and what it may achieve, we turn to the twentieth century evolution in American legal thought from legal formalism to legal realism. Drawing on the lessons of legal realism, we propose a new mode of algorithmic thinking—"algorithmic realism"—that provides tools for computer scientists to account for the realities of social life and of algorithmic impacts. These realist approaches, although not foolproof, will better equip computer scientists to reduce algorithmic harms and to reason well about doing good.
18 Years of Ethics in Child-Computer Interaction Research: A Systematic Literature Review Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference Van Mechelen, Maarten; Baykal, Gökçe Elif; Dindler, Christian; Eriksson, Eva; Iversen, Ole Sejer Recent years have seen growing interest in 'ethics' within the Child-Computer Interaction (CCI) community. In this paper, we take stock of 18 years of CCI research by conducting a systematic literature study exploring how and to what extent ethics has been dealt with in the community's leading venues: the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference and the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction (CCI). Searching all papers in the IDC conference proceedings and IJCCI, 157 papers were found that use the word stem 'ethic*'. Based on our analysis of these papers, our study demonstrates that while ethics is frequently mentioned, the literature remains underdeveloped in a number of areas including definition and theoretical basis, the reporting of formal ethical approval procedures, and the extent to which design and participation ethics is dealt with. Based on our study we provide five avenues of future research in the interests of developing a more explicit discourse on ethics in CCI.
Code, Connect, Create: The 3C Professional Development Model to Support Computational Thinking Infusion Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Jocius, Robin; Joshi, Deepti; Dong, Yihuan; Robinson, Richard; Cateté, Veronica; Barnes, Tiffany; Albert, Jennifer; Andrews, Ashley; Lytle, Nicholas Despite the increasing attention to infusing CT into middle and high school content area classrooms, there is a lack of information about the most effective practices and models to support teachers in their efforts to integrate disciplinary content and CT principles. To address this need, this paper proposes the Code, Connect and Create (3C) professional development (PD) model, which was designed to support middle and high school content area teachers in infusing computational thinking into their classrooms. To evaluate the model, we analyzed quantitative and qualitative data collected from Infusing Computing PD workshops designed for in-service science, math, English language arts, and social studies teachers located in two Southeastern states. Drawing on findings from our analysis of teacher-created learning segments, surveys, and interviews, we argue that the 3C professional development model supported shifts in teacher understandings of the role of computational thinking in content area classrooms, as well as their self-efficacy and beliefs regarding CT integration into disciplinary content. We conclude by offering implications for the use of this model to increase teacher and student access to computational thinking practices in middle and high school classrooms.
TIPP&SEE: A Learning Strategy to Guide Students through Use - Modify Scratch Activities Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Salac, Jean; Thomas, Cathy; Butler, Chloe; Sanchez, Ashley; Franklin, Diana With the rise of Computational Thinking (CT) instruction at the elementary level, it is imperative that elementary computing instruction support a variety of learners. A popular pedagogical approach for this age group is Use–>Modify–>Create, which introduces a concept through a more scaffolded, guided instruction before culminating in a more open-ended project for student engagement. Yet, there is little research on student learning during the Use–>Modify step, nor strategies to promote learning in this step. This paper introduces TIPP&SEE, a metacognitive learning strategy that further scaffolds student learning during this step. Results from an experimental study show statistically-significant performance gains from students using the TIPP&SEE strategy on nearly all assessment questions of moderate and hard difficulty, suggesting its potential as an effective CS/CT learning strategy.
History of Logo Proc. ACM Program. Lang. Solomon, Cynthia; Harvey, Brian; Kahn, Ken; Lieberman, Henry; Miller, Mark L.; Minsky, Margaret; Papert, Artemis; Silverman, Brian Logo is more than a programming language. It is a learning environment where children explore mathematical ideas and create projects of their own design. Logo, the first computer language explicitly designed for children, was invented by Seymour Papert, Wallace Feurzeig, Daniel Bobrow, and Cynthia Solomon in 1966 at Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc. (BBN).Logo’s design drew upon two theoretical frameworks: Jean Piaget’s constructivism and Marvin Minsky’s artificial intelligence research at MIT. One of Logo’s foundational ideas was that children should have a powerful programming environment. Early Lisp served as a model with its symbolic computation, recursive functions, operations on linked lists, and dynamic scoping of variables.Logo became a symbol for change in elementary mathematics education and in the nature of school itself. The search for harnessing the computer’s potential to provide new ways of teaching and learning became a central focus and guiding principle in the Logo language development as it encompassed a widening scope that included natural language, music, graphics, animation, story telling, turtle geometry, robots, and other physical devices.
Why Computing Belongs within the Social Sciences Commun. ACM Connolly, Randy Fully appreciating the overarching scope of CS requires weaving more than ethics into the reigning curricula.
Coding at a Crossroads Commun. ACM Resnick, Mitchel; Rusk, Natalie While millions of students worldwide have enjoyed coding experiences over the last decade, the next challenge is spreading educational values and approaches.
When Participatory Design Becomes Policy: Technology Comprehension in Danish Education Proceedings of the 16th Participatory Design Conference 2020 - Participation(s) Otherwise - Volume 1 C Smith, Rachel; Bossen, Claus; Dindler, Christian; Sejer Iversen, Ole While several studies have addressed the challenge of sustaining PD initiatives over time and supporting large-scale participatory processes, little is known about how PD and ideals fare on a national scale. We examine the process in which outcomes from a PD project were used and implemented as part of a mandatory course in Technology Comprehension in K9 education, commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Education. Our study is based on interviews with 12 people from the Danish educational sector, ranging from schoolteachers to the Minister of Education. Our findings demonstrate that while knowledge generated in a PD project can travel to the level of national policy, significant challenges emerge when outcomes from bottom-up PD is used in top-down policy. We conclude the paper by reflecting on how PD is equipped to create impact through policy.
Teaching Abstraction in Computer Science to 7th$ Grade Students ACM Trans. Comput. Educ. Statter, David; Armoni, Michal Abstraction is one of the most fundamental ideas in computer science (CS), and as such, according to Bruner [23], it should be taught spirally, starting as early as possible and revisited at every level of education. However, teaching CS abstraction to novices is a very challenging task, and CS educational research has often demonstrated students' difficulties in learning this idea, in different contexts and at different age levels. The challenge in teaching CS abstraction is even greater when dealing with young students, since according to theories on children's cognitive development, their abstraction abilities may still be not fully developed. In 2013, Armoni [5] introduced a framework for teaching abstraction in the context of algorithmic problem solving, intended for novice students. We studied the effect of this framework in an introductory CS course for 7th graders, in which Scratch was used as the programming language for implementing algorithmic solutions. Our findings indicate that the framework was highly effective for developing CS abstraction skills as well as other related skills and aspects, such as the tendency to provide explanations for solutions, the use of initialization processes, and the perception of the nature of CS. It also significantly improved students’ general CS performance in this course.
Using Tabletop Robots to Promote Inclusive Classroom Experiences Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference Neto, Isabel; Johal, Wafa; Couto, Marta; Nicolau, Hugo; Paiva, Ana; Guneysu, Arzu Geometry and handwriting rely heavily on the visual representation of basic shapes. It can become challenging for students with visual impairments to perceive these shapes and understand complex spatial constructs. For instance, knowing how to draw is highly dependent on spatial and temporal components, which are often inaccessible to children with visual impairments. Hand-held robots, such as the Cellulo robots, open unique opportunities to teach drawing and writing through haptic feedback. In this paper, we investigate how these tangible robots could support inclusive, collaborative learning activities, particularly for children with visual impairments. We conducted a user study with 20 pupils with and without visual impairments, where they engaged in multiple drawing activities with tangible robots. We contribute novel insights on the design of children-robot interaction, learning shapes and letters, children engagement, and responses in a collaborative scenario that address the challenges of inclusive learning.
Theories and Models of Emotions, Attitudes, and Self-Efficacy in the Context of Programming Education Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research Malmi, Lauri; Sheard, Judy; Kinnunen, Päivi; Simon; Sinclair, Jane Research into the relationship between learning computing and students' attitudes, beliefs, and emotions often builds on theoretical frameworks from the social sciences in order to understand how these factors influence, for example, students' motivation, study practices, and learning results. In this paper we explore the computing education research literature to identify new theoretical constructs that have emerged from this research. We focus on empirical work in programming education that extends or adapts theories or instruments from the social sciences or that independently develops theories specific to programming. From an initial data set of more than 3800 papers published in the years 2010–2019, we identify 50 papers that present a range of domain-specific theoretical constructs addressing emotions, affect, beliefs, attitudes, and self-efficacy. They include 11 validated instruments and a number of statistical models, but also grounded theories and pedagogical models. We summarize the main results of many of these constructs and provide references for all of them. We also investigate how these constructs have informed further research by analysing over 850 papers that cite these 50 papers. We categorize the ways that theories can inform further research, and give examples of papers in each of these categories. Our findings indicate that among these categories, instruments have been most widely used in further research, thus affirming their value in the field.
Scratch Encore: The Design and Pilot of a Culturally-Relevant Intermediate Scratch Curriculum Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Franklin, Diana; Weintrop, David; Palmer, Jennifer; Coenraad, Merijke; Cobian, Melissa; Beck, Kristan; Rasmussen, Andrew; Krause, Sue; White, Max; Anaya, Marco; Crenshaw, Zachary While several introductory computer science curricula exist for children in K-8, there are few options that go beyond sequence, loops, and basic conditionals. The goal of this project is to not only fill this gap with a high-quality curriculum supported by complete instructional materials, but to also do so with an equity-balanced curriculum. That is, a curriculum that values advancing equity equally with student learning outcomes. In this paper, we introduce barriers to equity in public school classrooms, pedagogical approaches to culturally-relevant curricula, and how our Scratch Encore curriculum is designed to support equity-balanced learning. Finally, we present results of our pilot year, including early evidence of students taking advantage of the culturally-relevant design aspects.
Designing an Assessment for Introductory Programming Concepts in Middle School Computer Science Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Grover, Shuchi Teaching of computer science (CS is rapidly expanding in schools. Learning to program is a key ingredient of school CS curricula, and consequently, there is a need for quality measures of student learning of foundational programming concepts. However, high-quality tools for measuring student learning in introductory CS have been under-developed and under-researched. This experience report shares the process of design and refinement of a summative paper-based assessment (that could also be administered online) for introductory programming in middle grades (6-8). We share our experiences with the use of assessment as a pre-post measure in a middle school introductory programming course in diverse, urban school classrooms in the US and use that data to conduct validity, reliability and item discrimination analyses.
Youth Making Machine Learning Models for Gesture-Controlled Interactive Media Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference Zimmermann-Niefield, Abigail; Polson, Shawn; Moreno, Celeste; Shapiro, R. Benjamin Machine learning (ML) technologies are ubiquitous and increasingly influential in daily life. They are powerful tools people can use to build creative, personalized systems in a wide variety of contexts. We believe ML has vast potential for young people to use to make creative projects, especially when used in conjunction with programming. This potential is understudied. We know little about what projects youth might create, or what computational practices they could engage in while building them. We combined a beginner-level ML modeling toolkit with a beginning programming tool and then investigated how young people created and remixed projects to incorporate custom ML-based gestural inputs. We found that (1) participants were able to build and integrate ML models of their own gestures into programming projects; (2) the design of their gestures ranged from coherent to disjoint with respect to the narratives, characters, and actions of their interactive worlds; and (3) they tested their projects by assessing the programmed vs. modeled aspects of them as distinct units. We conclude with a discussion of how we might support youth in combining code and ML modeling going forward.
A Principled Approach to Designing a Computational Thinking Practices Assessment for Early Grades Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Basu, Satabdi; Rutstein, Daisy; Xu, Yuning; Shear, Linda In today's increasingly digital world, it is critical that all students learn to think computationally from an early age. Assessments of Computational Thinking (CT) are essential for capturing information about student learning and challenges. Several existing K-12 CT assessments focus on concepts like variables, iterations and conditionals without emphasizing practices like algorithmic thinking, reusing and remixing, and debugging. In this paper, we discuss the development of and results from a validated CT Practices assessment for 4th-6th grade students. The assessment tasks are multilingual, shifting the focus to CT practices, and making the assessment useful for students using different CS curricula and different programming languages. Results from an implementation of the assessment with about 15000 upper elementary students in Hong Kong indicate challenges with algorithm comparison given constraints, deciding when code can be reused, and choosing debugging test cases. These results point to the utility of our assessment as a curricular tool and the need for emphasizing CT practices in future curricular initiatives and teacher professional development.
A Hands-On Cybersecurity Curriculum Using a Robotics Platform Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Yett, Bernard; Hutchins, Nicole; Stein, Gordon; Zare, Hamid; Snyder, Caitlin; Biswas, Gautam; Metelko, Mary; Lédeczi, Ákos This paper presents a study using a robotics platform for teaching computing and cybersecurity concepts to high school students. 38 students attended a week-long camp, starting with projects such as a simulation-only game and a simple autonomous driving program for the robots in order to learn and apply computational thinking (CT) and networking skills. They were then assigned a series of challenges that required developing progressively more advanced cybersecurity measures to protect their robots. This culminated in a final challenge that required implementing defensive measures such as encryption, secure key exchange and sequence numbers. We used an evidence-centered design framework to construct rubrics for grading student work. The pre- and post-test results show that the interventions helped students learn cybersecurity and CT concepts, but they had difficulties with networking concepts. These results correlate with scores from the game and the final challenge. Overall, surveys show that the competition-based robotics learning framework engaged students and supported their overall learning, but our intervention needs to be modified to help students learn networking concepts
A Large-Scale Evaluation of a Rubric for the Automatic Assessment of Algorithms and Programming Concepts Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Alves, Nathalia da Cruz; von Wangenheim, Christiane Gresse; Hauck, Jean Carlo Rossa; Borgatto, Adriano Ferreti As computing education makes its way into schools, there is still little research on how to assess the learning of algorithms and programming concepts as a central topic. Furthermore, in order to ensure valid instructional feedback, an important concern is the reliability and construct validity of an assessment model. Therefore, this work presents a large-scale evaluation of the CodeMaster rubric for the performance-based assessment of algorithms and programming concepts by analyzing software artifacts created by students as part of complex, open-ended learning activities. The assessment is automated through a web-based tool that performs a static analysis of the source code of App Inventor projects. Based on 88,812 projects from the App Inventor Gallery, we statistically analyzed the reliability and construct validity of the rubric. Results indicate that the rubric can be regarded as reliable (Cronbach's alpha α=0.84). With respect to construct validity, there also exists an indication of convergent validity based on the results of a correlation and factor analysis. This indicates that the rubric can be used for a valid assessment of algorithm and programming concepts of App Inventor programs as part of a comprehensive assessment completed by other assessment methods. The results can guide the improvement of assessment models, as well as support the decision on the application of the rubric in order to support computing education in K-12.
"... And We Are the Creators!" Technologies as Creative Material Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction Matthews, Sarah; Viller, Stephen; Boden, Marie A. Tangible embedded technology kits are increasingly being used in schools, often as a means of providing students a platform for problem solving and computational thinking. When they are incorporated in creative tasks such as open-ended design projects, embedded technologies take on the role of a design material - a medium for exploration, iteration and creation. This paper presents some early results of a video analysis of school children's collaborative interactions with tangible, embedded technologies in an open-ended design task. We identify some of the difficulties students encounter and some of the practices they develop with these kits as they work to progress their designs. Our findings detail how children deal with the opacity of the system and how they use it as a springboard for imagination. Our study provides an opportunity to reflect on how technology kits currently resist becoming a design material.
Tangible Music Programming Blocks for Visually Impaired Children Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction Sabuncuoglu, Alpay Programming can benefit children on learning science, math, and creative thinking, and has become a part of the primary school curriculum. However, programming tools for visually impaired children are still scarce. We developed an affordable and accessible tangible music platform for visually impaired children that aims to teach the basics of programming through music creation. By ordering the tangible blocks in an algorithmic structure, the children can create a melody. The physical and conceptual design of the system was developed with the help of visually impaired developers. We conducted a user study with fourteen visually impaired middle school children to observe their interactions with the prototype. In this paper, we present our design, provide several TUI design considerations for students with low to zero sight, and discuss the results of our user study and future directions.
The Relationship of Gender, Experiential, and Psychological Factors to Achievement in Computer Science Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Hinckle, Madeline; Rachmatullah, Arif; Mott, Bradford; Boyer, Kristy Elizabeth; Lester, James; Wiebe, Eric Computer science (CS) is widely recognized as a field with a significant gender gap despite the growing prevalence of computing. Several factors including CS attitudes, exposure to CS, experience with computer programming, and confidence in using computers are understood to be correlated with the low participation of women in CS. These factors also play an important role in students' interest in CS careers and are particularly crucial during secondary school. However, there is a dearth of research that examines differences in how these factors are inter-correlated for younger students (ages 11-13). The purpose of this study was to generate and test a statistical model that demonstrates the inter-correlation amongst these factors with respect to gender. A total of 260 middle school students participated in this study. Four instruments measuring students' CS attitudes, confidence in using computers, CS conceptual understanding, and prior experience with CS-related activities were used. Structural equation modeling was utilized to test the hypothesized model. The findings showed that previous participation in CS-related activities had a significant direct effect on CS attitudes and confidence in using computers, but the effect on students' CS conceptual understanding was indirect. We also found that in a female specific model, previous participation had a significantly stronger direct effect on CS attitudes compared to its effect in a male specific model. The importance of providing more CS-related experience, especially to female students, as well as suggestions on activities that promote gender equity in the field are discussed.
Automated Assessment of the Visual Design of Android Apps Developed with App Inventor Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Solecki, Igor; Porto, João; Alves, Nathalia da Cruz; Gresse von Wangenheim, Christiane; Hauck, Jean; Borgatto, Adriano Ferreti One way to teach computing in K-12 is through the development of mobile applications with App Inventor. Although already broadly used worldwide, there is still a need for support for the assessment of the applications created by the students. Existing rubrics focusing mostly on programming concepts do not cover more comprehensively the performance-based assessment of user interface design concepts, important for the usability and aesthetics of the applications. Thus, in order to support the assessment of the visual design of apps based on its compliance with design theory and guidelines, we developed the CodeMaster UI Design - App Inventor rubric in the context of computing education. In order to facilitate its application in practice, we automated the assessment of applications created with App Inventor through a static code analysis by an online tool. We evaluated the reliability and validity of the rubric based on the automated assessment of 1,775 projects from the App Inventor Gallery. The results indicate that the rubric can be considered reliable (Cronbach's alpha = 0.84). In terms of construct validity, there is also evidence of convergent validity. The results presented in this article can be used to support the assessment of computing education in practice as well as to point out further research opportunities.
Predictive Student Modeling in Block-Based Programming Environments with Bayesian Hierarchical Models Proceedings of the 28th ACM Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization Emerson, Andrew; Geden, Michael; Smith, Andy; Wiebe, Eric; Mott, Bradford; Boyer, Kristy Elizabeth; Lester, James Recent years have seen a growing interest in block-based programming environments for computer science education. Although block-based programming offers a gentle introduction to coding for novice programmers, introductory computer science still presents significant challenges, so there is a great need for block-based programming environments to provide students with adaptive support. Predictive student modeling holds significant potential for adaptive support in block-based programming environments because it can identify early on when a student is struggling. However, predictive student models often make a number of simplifying assumptions, such as assuming a normal response distribution or homogeneous student characteristics, which can limit the predictive performance of models. These assumptions, when invalid, can significantly reduce the predictive accuracy of student models.To address these issues, we introduce an approach to predictive student modeling that utilizes Bayesian hierarchical linear models. This approach explicitly accounts for individual student differences and programming activity differences by analyzing block-based programs created by students in a series of introductory programming activities. Evaluation results reveal that predictive student models that account for both the distributional and hierarchical factors outperform baseline models. These findings suggest that predictive student models based on Bayesian hierarchical modeling and representing individual differences in students can substantially improve models' accuracy for predicting student performance on post-tests. By improving the predictive performance of student models, this work holds substantial potential for improving adaptive support in block-based programming environments.
Designing One Year Curriculum to Teach Artificial Intelligence for Middle School Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Sabuncuoglu, Alpay Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a common ingredient in everyday products and a part of early education. Educators teach the subject to inform students about their possible advantages and risks. Recently, various resources have been designed to teach AI, however, these resources generally fail to meet an interdisciplinary approach and do not narrate the overall picture of AI development. To address this gap, we developed a 36-week open-source AI curriculum for middle school education. Our contribution is threefold: (1) Providing interdisciplinary connections to reveal the background of developing a new technology (2) Structuring the recent resources in the field to ease the integration of AI into classrooms (3) Presenting an inclusive approach with online and unplugged activities. In this paper, we present the design process of our curriculum, details about the lecture structures and it's supplementary materials. Finally, we share our observations from the teacher (n=18) and student (n=60) workshops.
Securing Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Programming Exams Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Kurniawan, Oka; Lee, Norman Tiong Seng; Poskitt, Christopher M. Traditional pen and paper exams are inadequate for modern university programming courses as they are misaligned with pedagogies and learning objectives that target practical coding ability. Unfortunately, many institutions lack the resources or space to be able to run assessments in dedicated computer labs. This has motivated the development of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) exam formats, allowing students to program in a similar environment to how they learnt, but presenting instructors with significant additional challenges in preventing plagiarism and cheating. In this paper, we describe a BYOD exam solution based on lockdown browsers, software which temporarily turns students' laptops into secure workstations with limited system or internet access. We combine the use of this technology with a learning management system and cloud-based programming tool to facilitate conceptual and practical programming questions that can be tackled in an interactive but controlled environment. We reflect on our experience of implementing this solution for a major undergraduate programming course, highlighting our principal lesson that policies and support mechanisms are as important to consider as the technology itself.
Exploring Accessible Programming with Educators and Visually Impaired Children Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference Pires, Ana Cristina; Rocha, Filipa; de Barros Neto, Antonio José; Simão, Hugo; Nicolau, Hugo; Guerreiro, Tiago Previous attempts to make block-based programming accessible to visually impaired children have mostly focused on audio-based challenges, leaving aside spatial constructs, commonly used in learning settings. We sought to understand the qualities and flaws of current programming environments in terms of accessibility in educational settings. We report on a focus group with IT and special needs educators, where they discussed a variety of programming environments for children, identifying their merits, barriers and opportunities. We then conducted a workshop with 7 visually impaired children where they experimented with a bespoke tangible robot-programming environment. Video recordings of such activity were analyzed with educators to discuss children's experiences and emergent behaviours. We contribute with a set of qualities that programming environments should have to be inclusive to children with different visual abilities, insights for the design of situated classroom activities, and evidence that inclusive tangible robot-based programming is worth pursuing.
Notional Machines in Computing Education: The Education of Attention Proceedings of the Working Group Reports on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Fincher, Sally; Jeuring, Johan; Miller, Craig S.; Donaldson, Peter; du Boulay, Benedict; Hauswirth, Matthias; Hellas, Arto; Hermans, Felienne; Lewis, Colleen; Mühling, Andreas; Pearce, Janice L.; Petersen, Andrew This report defines notional machines (NMs), and provides a series of definitional characteristics by which they may be identified. Over several sections, it includes a first-hand report of the origin of NMs, reports a systematic literature review to track the use and development of the concept, and presents a small collection of examples collected through interviews with experienced teachers. Additionally, the report presents NMs in a common format, and makes some preliminary explorations of their use in practice, including examples of instructors using multiple NMs in sequence. Approach and method are fully detailed in evidential appendices, to support replication of results and adoption/adaptation of practice.
Understanding Students' Computational Thinking through Cognitive Interviews: A Learning Trajectory-Based Analysis Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Luo, Feiya; Israel, Maya; Liu, Ruohan; Yan, Wei; Gane, Brian; Hampton, John For K-8 computer science (CS) education to continue to expand, it is essential that we understand how students develop and demonstrate computational thinking (CT). One approach to gaining this insight is by having students articulate their understanding of CT through cognitive interviews. This study presents findings of a cognitive interview study with 13 fourth-grade students (who had previously engaged in integrated CT and mathematics instruction) working on CT assessment items. The items assessed four CT concepts: sequence, repetition, conditionals, and decomposition. This study analyzed studentstextquotesingle articulated understanding of the four CT concepts and the correspondence between that understanding and hypothesized learning trajectories (LTs). We found that 1) all students articulated an understanding of sequence that matched the intermediate level of the Sequence LT; 2) a majority of studentstextquotesingle responses demonstrated the level of understanding that the repetition and decomposition items were designed to solicit (8 of 9 responses were correct for repetition and 4 of 6 were correct for decomposition); and 3) less than half of studentstextquotesingle responses articulated an understanding of conditionals that was intended by the items (4 of 9 responses were correct). The results also suggested questioning the directional relationships of two statements in the existing Conditionals LT. For example, unlike the LT, this study revealed that students could understand "A conditional connects a condition to an outcome” before "A condition is something that can be true or false.”
Conceptual Learning through Accessible Play: Project Torino and Computational Thinking for Blind Children in India Proceedings of the 2020 International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development India, Gesu; Ramakrishna, Geetha; Pal, Joyojeet; Swaminathan, Manohar Project Torino is a physical programming environment designed for teaching computational thinking (CT) to school children in the UK, regardless of the level of vision. We introduced Project Torino to children in three schools for the blind in Bangalore, India as a toy for playing with songs, rhymes, and stories. We present the results of 103 semi-structured play sessions spread over three months with 12 children (2 girls, 10 boys) with diverse backgrounds. We found that children progressed from playing with pre-connected examples, to making changes, to actively participating in what items are played. Engaging the children in conversation while they played, we established that the teams had grasped three basic concepts of computational thinking–flow of control, variables, and loops, without any explicit instructions towards learning them. We propose that play-based approaches can be successfully used with low resource overhead to introduce fundamental concepts of CT.
From Theory Bias to Theory Dialogue: Embracing Cognitive, Situated, and Critical Framings of Computational Thinking in K-12 CS Education ACM Inroads Kafai, Yasmin; Proctor, Chris; Lui, Debora
An Analysis of Use-Modify-Create Pedagogical Approach's Success in Balancing Structure and Student Agency Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research Franklin, Diana; Coenraad, Merijke; Palmer, Jennifer; Eatinger, Donna; Zipp, Anna; Anaya, Marco; White, Max; Pham, Hoang; Gökdemir, Ozan; Weintrop, David As computer science instruction gets offered to more young learners, transitioning from elective to requirement, it is important to explore the relationship between pedagogical approach and student behavior. While different pedagogical approaches have particular motivations and intended goals, little is known about to what degree they satisfy those goals.In this paper, we present analysis of 536 students' (age 9-14, grades 4-8) work within a Scratch-based, Use-Modify-Create (UMC) curriculum, Scratch Encore. We investigate to what degree the UMC progression encourages students to engage with the content of the lesson while providing the flexibility for creativity and exploration.Our findings show that this approach does balance structure with flexibility and creativity, allowing teachers wide variation in the degree to which they adhere to the structured tasks. Many students utilized recently-learned blocks in open-ended activities, yet they also explored blocks not formally taught. In addition, they took advantage of open-ended projects to change sprites, backgrounds, and integrate narratives into their projects.
Staging Reflections on Ethical Dilemmas in Machine Learning: A Card-Based Design Workshop for High School Students Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference Bilstrup, Karl-Emil Kjær; Kaspersen, Magnus H.; Petersen, Marianne Graves The increased use of machine learning (ML) in society raises questions of how ethical dilemmas inherent in computational artefacts can be made understandable and explorable for students. To investigate this, we developed a card-based design workshop that allows students to reflect on ethical dilemmas by designing their own ML applications. The workshop was developed in an iterative process engaging four high school classrooms with students aged 16-20. We found that scaffolding students in designing meaningful ML systems served to qualify their ethical reflections. Further students' design processes allowed them to engage with the ethical dilemmas and to tie these to the properties of the technology and to their design decisions. We suggest seeing technology-close discussions about ethics as a goal in design processes, and prototyping as a means to ground these discussions in students' own design decisions, and we contribute a workshop format and design artefacts that allow for this.
Effects of Human vs. Automatic Feedback on Students' Understanding of AI Concepts and Programming Style Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Leite, Abe; Blanco, Saúl A. The use of automatic grading tools has become nearly ubiquitous in large undergraduate programming courses, and recent work has focused on improving the quality of automatically generated feedback. However, there is a relative lack of data directly comparing student outcomes when receiving computer-generated feedback and human-written feedback. This paper addresses this gap by splitting one 90-student class into two feedback groups and analyzing differences in the two cohorts' performance. The class is an intro to AI with programming HW assignments. One group of students received detailed computer-generated feedback on their programming assignments describing which parts of the algorithms' logic was missing; the other group additionally received human-written feedback describing how their programs' syntax relates to issues with their logic, and qualitative (style) recommendations for improving their code. Results on quizzes and exam questions suggest that human feedback helps students obtain a better conceptual understanding, but analyses found no difference between the groups' ability to collaborate on the final project. The course grade distribution revealed that students who received human-written feedback performed better overall; this effect was the most pronounced in the middle two quartiles of each group. These results suggest that feedback about the syntax-logic relation may be a primary mechanism by which human feedback improves student outcomes.
Challenges with Learning to Program and Problem Solve: An Analysis of Student Online Discussions Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Piwek, Paul; Savage, Simon Students who study problem solving and programming (in a language such as Python) at University level encounter a range of challenges, from low-level issues with code that won't compile to misconceptions about the threshold concepts and skills. The current study complements existing findings on errors, misconceptions, difficulties and challenges obtained from students after-the-fact through instruments such as questionnaires and interviews. In our study, we analysed the posts from students of a large cohort (textasciitilde1500) of first-year University distance learning students to an online 'Python help forum' - recording issues and discussions as the students encountered specific challenges. Posts were coded in terms of topics, and subsequently thematically grouped into Python-related, problem solving/generic programming related, and module specific. We discuss the set of topics and rank these in terms of the number of forum discussions in which they occur (as a proxy for their prevalence). The top challenges we identified concern student understanding and use of a mix of programming environments (in particular, Python IDLE for offline programming and CodeRunner for programming quizzes) and code fragment problems. Apart from these, Python-specific topics include, among others, collections, functions, error messages, iteration, outputting results, indentation, variables and imports. We believe that the results provide a good insight into the challenges that students encounter em as they learn to program. In future work we intend to study the discussions in further detail in terms of theories of conceptual change.
Syntax Exercises in CS1 Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research Edwards, John; Ditton, Joseph; Trninic, Dragan; Swanson, Hillary; Sullivan, Shelsey; Mano, Chad This paper investigates the idea of teaching programming language syntax before problem solving in Introductory Computer Programming (CS1). Theories of procedural skill acquisition imply that syntax should be taught with a pedagogy and curriculum quite different from that used in teaching problem solving. We draw from this literature to propose a practice-based pedagogy and curriculum to teach students syntax before they learn its application, something we call a "syntax-first" pedagogy, which uses skilled performance in syntax to scaffold learning of problem solving. We report results of a controlled study investigating whether learning syntax using pedagogy suitable for procedural skill acquisition (e.g. repetitive practice) prior to learning problem solving influences student performance. A syntax-first pedagogy is complementary to almost any other teaching approach: in our study, simply adding carefully designed syntax exercises to an existing CS1 course resulted in higher exam scores, lower student attrition, and evidence that plagiarism rates may be lower.
If They Build It, Will They Understand It? Exploring the Relationship between Student Code and Performance Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Salac, Jean; Franklin, Diana The computer science community has struggled to assess student learning via Scratch programming at the primary school level (ages 7-12). Prior work has relied most heavily on artifact (student code/projects) analysis, with some attempts at one-on-one interviews and written assessments. In this paper, we explore the relationship between artifact analysis and written assessments. Through this study of a large-scale introductory computing implementation, we found that for students who had code in their projects, student performance on specific questions on the written assessments is only very weakly correlated to specific attributes of final projects typically used in artifact analysis as well as attributes we use to define candidate code (r < 0.2, p < 0.05). In particular, the correlation is not nearly strong enough to serve as a proxy for understanding.
Broadening Artificial Intelligence Education in K-12: Where to Start? ACM Inroads Wong, Gary K. W.; Ma, Xiaojuan; Dillenbourg, Pierre; Huan, John
A Longitudinal Analysis of K-12 Computing Education Research in the United States: Implications and Recommendations for Change Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Upadhyaya, Bishakha; McGill, Monica M.; Decker, Adrienne The availability of computer science education in primary and secondary schools in the United States has grown rapidly over the last decade. Computing education research in K-12 has been increasing as well. In this study, we conducted a longitudinal analysis of seven years of data (2012-2018), curated from over 500 articles across 10 publication venues to identify trends in K-12 computing education research such as geographic location and curriculum and concepts taught. The data shows a decrease in the number of studies covering K-12 students receiving computing education even while there is an increase in the number of states adopting and implementing standards. The number of different concepts being researched is increasing, potentially reflecting the growth in what is being taught in the classroom. Demographic data is underreported (e.g., socio-economic status (SES) and disabilities of participants) which could directly limit generalizability of the studies to different learners as well as the ability to replicate and compare studies. We conclude with recommendations for how to better position this work for others trying to use the results to guide their efforts in creating standards or adopting techniques into their classrooms.
A Comparison of Two Pair Programming Configurations for Upper Elementary Students Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Tsan, Jennifer; Vandenberg, Jessica; Zakaria, Zarifa; Wiggins, Joseph B.; Webber, Alexander R.; Bradbury, Amanda; Lynch, Collin; Wiebe, Eric; Boyer, Kristy Elizabeth As computer science education opportunities for elementary students (grades K-5) are expanding, there is growing interest in using pair programming with these students. However, previous research findings do not fully support its use with younger learners, and some researchers have begun to examine whether introducing a second computer with a shared coding workspace can provide important benefits. This experience report describes a series of classroom activities in the 4th and 5th grades (ages 9-11 years old) with two different pair programming configurations: one-computer pair programming, in which both students share a keyboard, mouse, and monitor; and two-computer pair programming, in which each student has a separate computer but coding workspaces are synchronized over the web. In both cases the students sat next to each other and engaged in face-to-face conversation. We found that students largely preferred two-computer pair programming over one-computer pair programming. We conducted focus groups and transcribed collaborative dialogues to gain more insight into this preference. We learned that students felt more independence in two-computer pair programming, although they struggled with coordinating their edits with their partner. In one-computer pair programming, students reported not wanting to wait for their turn to drive, but feeling as though they communicated more with their partner. Both configurations can be productive for students, but the tradeoffs described in this experience report are important for CS educators and researchers to consider when determining which collaborative configuration to use in each K-5 classroom context.
Tools, Languages, and Environments Used in Primary and Secondary Computing Education Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education McGill, Monica M.; Decker, Adrienne With the advent of teaching primary and secondary computing education, tools, languages, and environments (TLEs) are important pedagogical support systems for students and teachers. While there are a number of resources available for teaching K-12 students and teachers, there is little synthesis of the data with respect to usage and adoption rates for various TLEs. Using data extracted from 510 articles related to K-12 education, we conducted an analysis using descriptive statistics to determine what TLEs in K-12 are most frequently studied by researchers. We found 193 TLEs being used in research studies and experience reports, then differentiate between these two types of data and between students and teacher professional development. This preliminary research provides a first descriptive analysis of TLEs being used in K-12 space and simultaneously sets the stage for creating a classification system for TLEs based on the literature, including how they are used and what topics (in or outside of computing education) they are used to teach.
Introducing a Paper-Based Programming Language for Computing Education in Classrooms Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Mehrotra, Aditya; Giang, Christian; Duruz, Noé; Dedelley, Julien; Mussati, Andrea; Skweres, Melissa; Mondada, Francesco Past research has shown that the use of tangible programming platforms in computing education can enhance students' interest, engagement, and collaboration within workgroups. However, to this day, the adoption of such interfaces in classrooms has remained relatively scarce. This is possibly due to the expenses and efforts necessary to acquire, set up and maintain such platforms. In this context, the use of paper as a principal means of interaction represents an inexpensive and versatile solution, that additionally harnesses the prevalence of paper in classrooms. This work, therefore, introduces PaPL, an easily reproducible platform for paper-based programming languages. The platform was evaluated in two exploratory user studies. The first study aimed at investigating the interaction of over 100 senior year high school students with the platform under varying conditions of group size and usage constraints. In the second study, the platform was tested with 32 sixth-graders and 2 teachers to evaluate its usage in an authentic context. The results indicate that group size may affect active discussion and error count, while usage constraints may affect active discussion of students interacting with the platform. Moreover, the classroom study shows promising results with regard to the use of PaPL in formal education.
A Multi-Level Analysis of the Relationship between Instructional Practices and Retention in Computer Science Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Peteranetz, Markeya S.; Soh, Leen-Kiat Increasing retention in computer science (CS) courses is a goal of many CS departments. A key step to increasing retention is to understand the factors that impact the likelihood students will continue to enroll in CS courses. Prior research on retention in CS has mostly examined factors such as prior exposure to programming and students' personality characteristics, which are outside the control of undergraduate instructors. This study focuses on factors within the control of instructors, namely, instructional practices that directly impact students' classroom experiences. Participants were recruited from 25 sections of 14 different courses over 4 semesters. A multi-level model tested the effects of individual and class-average perceptions of cooperative learning and teacher directedness on the probability of subsequent enrollment in a CS course, while controlling for students' mastery of CS concepts and status as a CS major. Results indicated that students' individual perceptions of instructional practices were not associated with retention, but the average rating of cooperative learning within a course section was negatively associated with retention. Consistent with prior research, greater mastery of CS concepts and considering or having declared a CS major were associated with a higher probability of taking a future CS courses. Implications for findings are discussed.
Semantic Code Clone Detection for Enterprise Applications Proceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing Svacina, Jan; Simmons, Jonathan; Cerny, Tomas Enterprise systems are widely adopted across industries as methods of solving complex problems. As software complexity increases, the software's codebase becomes harder to manage and maintenance costs raise significantly. One such source of cost-raising complexity and code bloat is that of code clones. We proposed an approach to identify semantic code clones in enterprise frameworks by using control flow graphs (CFGs) and applying various proprietary similarity functions to compare enterprise targeted metadata for each pair of CFGs. This approach enables us to detect semantic code clones with high accuracy within a time complexity of O(n2) where n is equal to the number of CFGs composed in the enterprise application (usually around hundreds). We demonstrated our solution on a blind study utilizing a production enterprise application.
Crescendo: Engaging Students to Self-Paced Programming Practices Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Wang, Wengran; Zhi, Rui; Milliken, Alexandra; Lytle, Nicholas; Price, Thomas W. This paper introduces Crescendo, a self-paced programming practice environment that combines the block-based and visual, interactive programming of Snap!, with the structured practices commonly found in Drill-and-Practice Environments. Crescendo supports students with Parsons problems to reduce problem complexity, Use-Modify-Create task progressions to gradually introduce new programming concepts, and automated feedback and assessment to support learning. In this work, we report on our experience deploying Crescendo in a programming camp for middle school students, as well as in an introductory university course for non-majors. Our initial results from field observations and log data suggest that the support features in Crescendo kept students engaged and allowed them to progress through programming concepts quickly. However, some students still struggled even with these highly-structured problems, requiring additional assistance, suggesting that even strong scaffolding may be insufficient to allow students to progress independently through the tasks.
Elementary Students’ Understanding of CS Terms ACM Trans. Comput. Educ. Vandenberg, Jessica; Tsan, Jennifer; Boulden, Danielle; Zakaria, Zarifa; Lynch, Collin; Boyer, Kristy Elizabeth; Wiebe, Eric The language and concepts used by curriculum designers are not always interpreted by children as designers intended. This can be problematic when researchers use self-reported survey instruments in concert with curricula, which often rely on the implicit belief that students’ understanding aligns with their own. We report on our refinement of a validated survey to measure upper elementary students’ attitudes and perspectives about computer science (CS), using an iterative, design-based research approach informed by educational and psychological cognitive interview processes. We interviewed six groups of students over three iterations of the instrument on their understanding of CS concepts and attitudes toward coding. Our findings indicated that students could not explain the terms computer programs nor computer science as expected. Furthermore, they struggled to understand how coding may support their learning in other domains. These results may guide the development of appropriate CS-related survey instruments and curricular materials for K–6 students.
Resources for Computational Thinking: Co-Designing with Teachers Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Mills, Kelly; Angevine, Colin; Weisgrau, Josh Computational thinking (CT) has become a recent policy agenda in order for students to develop interest and foundational understanding in computing and preparation for an increasingly technological workforce. In order to integrate CT into K-12 education, teachers need professional support. The field has faced common challenges developing professional learning experiences and resources that facilitate the integration of computational thinking in authentic, equitable and sustainable ways. We have worked with a cohort of over eighty teachers from around the United States to co-design and pilot pedagogical resources for computational thinking. In this poster, we summarize our co-design process with teachers and share the resources we developed for computational thinking integration.
Introduction to Computational Thinking: A New High School Curriculum Using CodeWorld Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Alegre, Fernando; Underwoood, John; Moreno, Juana; Alegre, Mario The Louisiana Department of Education partnered with the Gordon A. Cain Center at LSU to pilot a Computing High School Graduation Pathway. The first course in the pathway, Introduction to Computational Thinking (ICT), is designed to teach programming and reinforce mathematical practice skills of nine-grade students, with an emphasis on promoting higher order thinking. In 2017-18, about 200 students and five teachers participated in the pilot, in 2018-2019 the participation increased to 400 students, and in the current 2019-2020 year about 800 students in 11 schools are involved. After describing the course content and the teacher training, we briefly discuss the data we have collected in the last two years. The overall student reception of the course has been positive, but the course was categorized by most students as hard. The pre-post test content assessments show that students have learned not only the language, but also general principles of programming. Lessons learned during the pilot phase have motivated changes, such as emphasizing during Professional Development the need to provide timely feedback to students, provide detailed rubrics for the projects and reorganize the lessons to increase the initial engagement with the material. After two years of running pilots, the course is becoming student-centered, where most of the code and image samples provided in the lessons are based on code created by previous students.
TACTOPI: A Playful Approach to Promote Computational Thinking for Visually Impaired Children The 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility Abreu, Lúcia; Pires, Ana Cristina; Guerreiro, Tiago The usage of playful activities is common in introductory programming settings. There is normally a virtual character or a physical robot that has to collect items or reach a goal within a map. Visually, these activities tend to be exciting enough to maintain children engaged: there is constant feedback about the actions being performed, and the virtual environments tend to be stimulating and aesthetically pleasant. Conversely, in adaptations for visually impaired children, these environments tend to become poorer, damaging the story at the cost of the programming actions and its dull mechanics (e.g., place a arrow block to move the character forward). In this paper, we present TACTOPI, a playful environment designed from the ground up to be rich in both its story (a nautical game) and its mechanics (e.g., a physical robot-boat controlled with a 3D printed wheel), tailored to promote computational thinking at different levels (4 to 8 years old). This poster intends to provoke discussion and motivate accessibility researchers that are interested in computational thinking to make playfulness a priority.
Attractive Educational Robotics Motivates Younger Students to Learn Programming and Computational Thinking Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Jormanainen, Ilkka; Tukiainen, Markku Educational robotics and physical computing have proved to be good sources of motivation for students of all ages and school levels. We conducted a series of workshops in the primary schools of city of Joensuu in eastern Finland, focusing on training the fundamental computational thinking (CT) skills by using a programmable and interactive Teddy Bear toy. Educational robotics and physical computing devices have proved to be an efficient way to teach these skills regardless the students’ age group or previous background. To assess the students’ intrinsic motivation towards Teddy Bear programming, we devised a survey for workshop participants and conducted a statistical analysis to compare differences between the genders and age groups. The results of the large-scale empirical study (n=1440) show that the students at the age of 9-10 years (Grades 3-4) are significantly more motivated towards such a learning tool than the students of age 11-12 years (Grades 5-6). Furthermore, we show that especially young girls find the Teddy Bear programming motivating and they are eager to learn more. This indicates that appealing tools play a key role when teaching programming and CT concepts to young school children.
The Role of Evidence Centered Design and Participatory Design in a Playful Assessment for Computational Thinking About Data Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Basu, Satabdi; Disalvo, Betsy; Rutstein, Daisy; Xu, Yuning; Roschelle, Jeremy; Holbert, Nathan The K-12 CS Framework provides guidance on what concepts and practices students are expected to know and demonstrate within different grade bands. For these guidelines to be useful in CS education, a critical next step is to translate the guidelines to explicit learning targets and design aligned instructional tools and assessments. Our research and development goal in this paper is to design a playful, curriculum-neutral assessment aligned with the 'Data and Analysis' concept (grades 6-8) from the CS framework. Using Evidence Centered Design and Participatory Design, we present a set of assessment guidelines for assessing data and analysis, as well as a set of design considerations for integrating data and analysis across middle school curricula in CS and non-CS contexts. We outline these contributions, describe how they were applied to the development of a game-based formative assessment for data and analysis, and present preliminary findings on student understanding and challenges inferred from student gameplay.
CodeAttach: Engaging Children in Computational Thinking Through Physical Play Activities Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction Yu, Junnan; Zheng, Clement; Tamashiro, Mariana Aki; Gonzalez-millan, Christopher; Roque, Ricarose Many toys and kits have been developed to help cultivate computational thinking in young children in the past decade. However, a majority of these kits ask children to move a robot/character around a limited space, constraining what could otherwise be generative and creative learning experiences into pre-defined activities and challenges with uniform outcomes. How can we expand what children can program and how they can create code? In this work, we present CodeAttach, a learning kit designed to engage young children in computational thinking through physical play activities. CodeAttach consists of three parts: (1) an interactive hardware device, (2) a mobile application to program the device, and (3) supporting materials for different play activities. With CodeAttach, children can attach the device to the supporting materials or other everyday objects to create their own props for physical play. The device offers different inputs and outputs and supports children to change the rules of existing physical activities or create new activities by programming this device. We outline the principles guiding the design of CodeAttach, its initial development process, and insights from early playtest with young kids and expert researchers.
Can Majoring in Computer Science Improve General Problem-Solving Skills? Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Salehi, Shima; Wang, Karen D.; Toorawa, Ruqayya; Wieman, Carl Teaching students to become skillful problem solvers is a goal of university education, but it has been difficult to measure such skill or demonstrate the benefits of particular educational experiences. This paper presents a study of college students solving a problem unrelated to their academic majors. The analysis suggests that the educational experiences of Computer Science (CS) students may better train them in problem-solving than the experiences of other majors. In this study, students from a variety of undergraduate majors and grade levels were given a 15-minute problem-solving task embedded in an interactive science simulation. The complex task calls upon many problem-solving practices needed by scientists and engineers in their professions. Although this task has little resemblance to the problems encountered in a computer science course, CS students performed significantly better than students in any other major. In addition, only for CS students was there an indication of improvement in problem-solving from lower to upper grade levels. We propose that general problem-solving and computational thinking share some common practices, such as problem decomposition and comprehensive data collection. Furthermore, we present preliminary evidence that training in computational thinking is transferable to problem-solving tasks across domains and discuss how the unique features of CS programming assignments could be generalized to other science and engineering courses to foster students' general problem-solving skills.
Comprehending Code: Understanding the Relationship between Reading and Math Proficiency, and 4th-Grade CS Learning Outcomes Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Salac, Jean; Thomas, Cathy; Twarek, Bryan; Marsland, William; Franklin, Diana As many school districts nationwide continue to incorporate Computer Science (CS) and Computational Thinking (CT) instruction at the K-8 level, it is crucial that we understand the factors and skills, such as reading and math proficiency, that contribute to the success of younger learners in a computing curriculum and are typically developed at this age. Yet, little is known about the relationship between reading and math proficiency, and the learning of key CS concepts at the elementary level. This study focused on 4th-grade students (ages 9-10) who were taught events, sequence, and repetition through an adaptation of the Creative Computing Curriculum. While all students benefited from access to such a curriculum, there were statistically-significant differences in learning outcomes, especially between students whose reading and math proficiency are below grade-level, and students whose proficiency are at or above grade-level. This performance gap suggests the need for curricular improvement and learning strategies that are CS specific for students who struggle with reading and math.
Exploring Student Behavior Using the TIPP&SEE Learning Strategy Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research Franklin, Diana; Salac, Jean; Crenshaw, Zachary; Turimella, Saranya; Klain, Zipporah; Anaya, Marco; Thomas, Cathy With the rise of Computational Thinking (CT) instruction at the elementary level, it is imperative for elementary computing instruction to support a variety of learners. TIPP&SEE is a meta-cognitive learning strategy that scaffolds student learning when learning from example code. Results from a previous study show statistically-significant performance differences favoring students using the TIPP&SEE strategy on a written assessment. In this work, our goal is gain insight as to it why such dramatic learning differences may have occurred. We analyze the students' computational artifacts and TIPP&SEE worksheets. Artifact analysis reveals that students in the TIPP&SEE group are more thorough in their work, completing more elements of the required tasks. In addition, they build open-ended projects with longer scripts that utilize more learned blocks. Worksheet analysis shows that students were highly accurate on some types of questions but largely skipped others. Despite these positive behaviors, there was little statistical correlation between student worksheet correctness, project completion, and written assessment performance. Therefore, while students in the TIPP&SEE group performed actions we believe lead to more success, no individual actions directly explain the results. Like other meta-cognitive strategies, the value of TIPP&SEE may lie in cognitive processes not directly observable, and may vary based upon individual student differences.
P12 Computing in Italy, England and Alabama, USA Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference on Information Technology Education Maiorana, Francesco; Csizmadia, Andrew P.; Richards, Gretchen M. It is recognized that Computing requires many competencies covering a wide range of domains exhibiting an impressive changing rate. This paper examines three primary competencies, which are: 1) Algorithms, Programming, Data, and Computational Thinking (CT); 2) Networks, Internet and Security; and 3) Ethics. Due to the standards and relationship of competences, the authors categorized, algorithms, programming, data and CT together. Thus, we leveraged national guidelines in Italy, mandatory national computing curriculum in England, and state guidelines in Alabama, USA in conjunction with ACM computing frameworks. The primary lessons learned from comparing computing curricula, and implications for implementing computing education curriculum are discussed.
Designing Block-Based Programming Language Features to Support Upper Elementary Students in Creating Interactive Science Narratives Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Smith, Andy; Mott, Bradford; Taylor, Sandra; Hubbard Cheuoua, Aleata; Minogue, James; Oliver, Kevin; Ringstaff, Cathy Recent years have seen a growing recognition of the importance of enabling K-12 students to engage in computational thinking, particularly in elementary grades where students' dispositions toward STEM are developing. Block-based programming has emerged as an effective tool for engaging these novice learners in computational thinking. At the same time, digital storytelling has emerged as a promising avenue for creating motivating problem-solving scenarios that engage students in science investigations. Although block-based programming and digital storytelling are in many ways synergistic, there is a lingering question of how to design block-based languages at an age-appropriate level to enable effective and engaging storytelling. In this work, we review design principles from prior block-based and digital storytelling systems as well as propose the design of block-based programming language features to enable the creation of rich, interactive science narratives by upper elementary students.
Adaption of RoboSTEAM Project to the Pandemic Situation Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Conde, Miguel Ángel; Rodríguez-Sedano, Francisco; Fernández, Camino; Ramos, Maria-João; Alves, Jonny; Celis-Tena, Susana; Gonçalves, José; Lima, Jose; Reimann, Daniela; Jormanainen, Ilkka; García-Peñalvo, Francisco José COVID pandemic has changed the way in which we carry out our daily life and also have affected educational processes. Teaching and learning have changed from a most common face to face context to a blended or online context. This implies changes in the way to carry out the activates and have an impact in research projects such as RoboSTEAM. Such project, that applies Challenge Based Learning methodologies with application of Robotics and Mechatronics, requires to change its approach to show how it is possible to succeed in the new situation. This paper describes how the project has evolved, how it has been affected by COVID and the possible changes to carry out. Regarding this last issue remote labs and online tools are presented as solutions to support changes in the application of challenge-based learning methodology.
A CS Course for Non-Majors Based on the Arduino Platform Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Russell, Ingrid; Rosiene, Carolyn Pe; Gold, Aaron We present a model for enhancing an introductory computer science course for non-majors through the use of the Arduino platform. We have developed and tested curricular modules and associated hands-on laboratories for this model. The use of the highly visual and interactive Arduino system has improved students' learning experiences, enabling them to apply and relate fundamental computational thinking concepts of algorithmic reasoning, data representation, and computational efficiency to real-world problems. Assessment results show that the approach has been effective. We present the curricular modules, our experiences using them, as well as assessment results.
Computing Education Research Landscape through an Analysis of Keywords Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research Papamitsiou, Zacharoula; Giannakos, Michail; Simon, -; Luxton-Reilly, Andrew Authors of academic papers are generally required to nominate several keywords that characterize the paper, but are rarely offered guidance on how to select those keywords. We analyzed the keywords in the past 15 years of selected computing education publications: the 1274 papers published in the proceedings of ICER and ITiCSE, including the ITiCSE working group reports. As well as the keywords assigned by the authors, we mined the abstracts of these papers to extract a separate list of keywords. Our work has two goals: to frame the thematic landscape of the field, using keywords that communicate the work conducted; and to detect differences between the human judgement and interpretation of keywords and the machine 'intelligence' on handling those keywords, with respect to the clusters of thematic topics identified in each case. The analysis shows that the field is dominated by learning approaches (e.g., active learning, collaborative learning), aspects of programming (e.g., debugging, misconceptions), computational thinking, feedback, and assessment, while other areas that have attracted attention include academic integrity (e.g., plagiarism) and diversity (e.g., female students, underrepresented groups). It was observed that the keywords chosen by authors are often too general to provide information about the paper (e.g., 'concerns', 'course', 'fun', 'justice'). We elaborate on the findings and begin a discussion on how authors can improve the communication of their research and make access to it more transparent.
Teaching Elementary Computer Science through Universal Design for Learning Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Israel, Maya; Jeong, Gakyung; Ray, Meg; Lash, Todd Given the academic diversity of today's classrooms, elementary teachers engaged in computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) instruction must create CS/CT experiences that are accessible and engaging to a broad range of learners, including those with disabilities. One method of developing inclusive instructional experiences is through the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, wherein teachers proactively design instruction for the broadest range of learners. Doing so may be challenging as elementary teachers may not be familiar with the UDL framework or may not have experience with applying UDL within CS/CT instruction. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate how four elementary teachers provided UDL-based instruction to academically diverse learners during CS/CT instruction. Teachers received professional development and instructional coaching related to UDL within CS/CT education. Data included teachers' lesson plans, coaching logs, and teacher interviews which were qualitatively analyzed and triangulated. Data revealed that teachers generally addressed all three UDL principles, with an emphasis on two of the principles (multiple means of engagement and multiple means of representing content) above the third principle (multiple means of action and expression). They focused on breaking tasks into steps, emphasizing student choice, and presenting information in multiple ways. Findings revealed nuanced implementation differences among the teachers as well.
Kart-ON: Affordable Early Programming Education with Shared Smartphones and Easy-to-Find Materials Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces Companion Sabuncuoğlu, Alpay; Sezgin, Metin Programming education has become an integral part of the primary school curriculum. However, most programming practices rely heavily on computers and electronics which causes inequalities across contexts with different socioeconomic levels. This demo introduces a new and convenient way of using tangibles for coding in classrooms. Our programming environment, Kart-ON, is designed as an affordable means to increase collaboration among students and decrease dependency on screen-based interfaces. Kart-ON is a tangible programming language that uses everyday objects such as paper, pen, fabrics as programming objects and employs a mobile phone as the compiler. Our preliminary studies with children (n=16, mage=12) show that Kart-ON boosts active and collaborative student participation in the tangible programming task, which is especially valuable in crowded classrooms with limited access to computational devices.
SUFFER – SimUlation Framework for Education in Robotics Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Conde, Miguel Ángel; Rodríguez Lera, Francisco J; Fernández-González, David; J. Rodríguez-Sedano, Francisco; Guerrero-Higueras, Ángel Manuel; Fernández, Camino The digital society in which we are involved is demanding better prepared professionals which requires of learning about technology and also use technology to learn. Information and Communication Technologies have been applied in educational processes in the last 20 years as a new way to support teaching and learning. In fact, these technologies make possible facilitating even disciplines that have a very important face to face and tangible component as is lab work. However, this require moving the lab technologies into simulators and emulators to any kind of student environment, arising different problems of compatibility and performance associated to final user computer specs. In order to overcome these problems, SUFFER is defined. It allows a flexible and easy definition of different labs, in what could be understood as a lab as a service approach based on cloud computing technologies. Moreover, making possible the collaboration between students and with the teachers during the lab activities. In order to do so SUFFER The simulator is being applied successfully in several courses and also in other contexts such as RoboSTEAM project.
Evaluation and Assessment Needs of Computing Education in Primary Grades Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Vivian, Rebecca; Franklin, Diana; Frye, Dave; Peterfreund, Alan; Ravitz, Jason; Sullivan, Florence; Zeitz, Melissa; McGill, Monica M. Until recently, computer science (CS) has been predominantly taught at upper-secondary or tertiary levels. Lately, however, CS curricula have been introduced into school systems from the very first year of school. In this paper, we undertake a participatory research approach, using focus group discussions between a group of experts in the field of evaluation and assessment at the primary level (K-5). The group considered the evaluation and assessment measures they have used, what their current needs are and how the CS education community can move towards meeting those needs. We present the discussion results as a position paper, situated in the context of broader education research. The experts identified three key priorities for the education research community: creating a universal taxonomy of assessment in the primary grades (K-5), creating measurements of student progression and growth over time, and creating culturally relevant evaluations and assessments. Through identifying key priorities, this work provides direction for urgently needed resource development and research directions for K-5 evaluation and assessment.
An International Pilot Study of K-12 Teachers' Computer Science Self-Esteem Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Vivian, Rebecca; Quille, Keith; McGill, Monica M.; Falkner, Katrina; Sentance, Sue; Barksdale, Sarah; Busuttil, Leonard; Cole, Elizabeth; Liebe, Christine; Maiorana, Francesco Computer Science (CS) is a new subject area for many K-12 teachers around the world, requiring new disciplinary knowledge and skills. Teacher social-behavioral factors (e.g. self-esteem) have been found to impact learning and teaching, and a key part of CS curriculum implementation will need to ensure teachers feel confident to deliver CS. However, studies about CS teacher self-esteem are lacking. This paper presents an analysis of publicly available data (n=219) from a pilot study using a Teacher CS Self-Esteem scale. Analysis revealed significant differences, including 1) females reported significantly lower CS self-esteem than males, 2) primary teachers reported lower levels of CS self-esteem than secondary teachers, 3) those with no CS teaching experience reported significantly lower CS self-esteem, 4) teachers with 0-3 years experience had a negative CS self-esteem, but after four years, teachers had a positive CS self-esteem, and 5) teachers who lived further from metropolitan areas and in some countries reported lower CS self-esteem. These initial findings suggest a pressing need for future research to look further into teacher CS self-esteem to inform teacher CS professional development.
Methodological Guide for the Successful Use of Digital Technologies in Education: Improvement of Learning through European Educational Projects Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Alonso de Castro, María Goretti; García-Peñalvo, Francisco José The purpose of this article is to set out the research plan for the doctoral thesis, which deals with the definition of a methodological guide for the successful use of digital technologies in education, especially in eLearning, taking as a reference European educational projects that have been successful in achieving an improvement in the teaching and learning process. We live in an increasingly digital society that requires citizens to be prepared to adapt to the needs of the moment and to solve the problems that arise. For this to be possible, the education system must be prepared to adequately train future citizens who will join a changing labor market. To this end, teachers must be trained and know how to carry out efficient educational projects that allow them to make the most of the potential of ICT in the classroom or in distance education. The situation experienced during the 2019-2020 school year with the COVID-19 pandemic has tested the education system and its ability to adapt to a situation where the use of distance education was required and where ICT was very much needed in most of the cases to bring education to the homes. These factors make it very necessary to work for a better teaching professionalization. Therefore, the main objective of this PhD work is to enable teachers to design their projects, involving electronic learning, in a more effective way. To achieve this, what better than to use the educational projects compiled in the Erasmus+ results platform, which allow the analysis of project typology, outcomes, topics and to see those that have been catalogued as a good practice or success story. This database will be a key tool to gather information together with the collaboration of the main actors of those projects that have been successful. A methodological guide would allow teachers and teacher trainers to know the key factors that help to achieve a good design of educational projects and allow an optimal use of ICT resources and the greatest impact on the teaching-learning process.
The Effect of a Spatial Skills Training Course in Introductory Computing Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Parkinson, Jack; Cytts, Quintin Spatial skills have been associated with STEM success for decades. Research has shown that training spatial skills can have a positive impact on outcomes in STEM domains such as engineering, mathematics and physics; however – despite some promising leads – evidence for the same relationship with computing is limited. This research describes a spatial skills intervention delivered to around 60 students in introductory computing courses who tested with relatively low spatial skills, mirroring a well established intervention developed and used by Sorby in engineering for over 20 years. This study has shown correlation between spatial skills and computing assessment marks which was observed both before and after training took place, suggesting that as the students' spatial skills are improved via training, so too is their computing assessment. Students who took part in the intervention also showed a significant increase in class rankings over their peers. The authors consider this to be a good indication that spatial skills training for low spatial skills scorers starting a computing degree is of value.
Dual-Modality Instruction and Learning: A Case Study in CS1 Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Blanchard, Jeremiah; Gardner-McCune, Christina; Anthony, Lisa In college-level introductory computer science courses, students traditionally learn to program using text-based languages which are common in industry and research. This approach means that learners must concurrently master both syntax and semantics. Blocks-based programming environments have become commonplace in introductory computing courses in K-12 schools and some colleges in part to simplify syntax challenges. However, there is evidence that students may face difficulty moving to text-based programming environments when starting with blocks-based environments. Bi-directional dual-modality programming environments provide multiple representations of programming language constructs (in both blocks and text) and allow students to transition between them freely. Prior work has shown that some students who use dual-modality environments to transition from blocks to text have more positive views of text programming compared to students who move directly from blocks to text languages, but it is not yet known if there is any impact on learning. To investigate the impact on learning, we conducted a study at a large public university across two semesters in a CS1 course (N=673). We found that students performed better on typical course exams when they were taught using dual-modality representations in lecture and were provided dual-modality tools. The results of our work support the conclusion that dual-modality instruction can help students learn computational concepts in early college computer science coursework.
Get Paid to Program: Evaluating an Employment-Aware After-School Program for High School Women of Color Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education McFarlane, Dana; Redmiles, Elissa M. After-school programs are one of the primary mechanisms used to introduce students to computing. Yet, such programs may leave behind students who need to work after-school jobs and earn an income. In this work we implement and evaluate a 10-week-long after-school program we call "Get Paid to Program", which uses research-based curriculum and pedagogical practices to introduce majority-minority, low-income high school women to computing. We evaluate the impact of this program on students' self-confidence around computing and their interest in STEM and computing careers. We evaluate the program with 30 high school women over two program implementations. Our evaluation shows a significant change in participants' computing self-efficacy. Additionally, we observe a refinement of career interests in computer science, programming, and engineering: participants become more certain of their interest, or lack thereof, after program completion. Interestingly, we find relatively little impact on career interest in other STEM fields, suggesting that computing-specific programs are critical for raising student awareness and interest.
Children's Beliefs and Understanding of Smart Objects: An Exploratory Study Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces Melonio, Alessandra; Rizvi, Mehdi; Roumelioti, Eftychia; De Angeli, Antonella; Gennari, Rosella; Matera, Maristella Children's role in the design of new technology has been widely investigated. Recently, the research focus has shifted, from the technology they help create, towards what children gain by participating in design workshops. This paper intercepts this line of research. It reports on a design workshop with 27 children, aged from 11 to 14 years old, ideating, programming and prototyping smart objects for their town park. Data were gathered in relation to children's beliefs, before and after the workshop, and in relation to their understanding of design, after the workshop. The analysis of the gathered data suggests that the workshop positively affected children's beliefs and understanding of design, giving indications for future work concerning design as means of empowerment.
Bring the Page to Life: Engaging Rural Students in Computer Science Using Alice Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Fasy, Brittany Terese; Hancock, Stacey A.; Komlos, Barbara Z.; Kristiansen, Brendan; Micka, Samuel; Theobold, Allison S. Exposure to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at a young age is key to inspiring students to pursue careers in these fields. Thus, many institutions of higher education offer events to engage youth in STEM activities. These events are most effective when they are adapted to the specific audience. In Montana, a large percentage of the K-12 student population is from rural communities, where the ability to participate in such events is limited due to travel logistics and a shortage of relatable materials. We have developed a computer science outreach module that targets these populations through the use of storytelling and the Alice programming environment, thus drawing a parallel between storytelling and building algorithms. We describe the module's implementation, report and analyze feedback, and provide lessons learned from the module's implementation at outreach events.
CS in Schools: Developing a Sustainable Coding Programme in Australian Schools Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Williams, Hugh E.; Williams, Selina; Kendall, Kristy Digital technology is compulsory in schools in most states at most year levels in Australia. However, a recent survey of over 400 Australian schools in 2019 found that 96% have had difficulty hiring qualified technology teachers and 39% of schools have reduced the amount of technology education they offer. We have observed that there is a shortage of teachers who feel qualified to teach coding. To address this problem, we launched CS in Schools (see, a successful in-class professional development programme for teachers that helps schools build a robust digital technology capability in their students. Our programme matches pedagogy with content expertise, by matching a volunteer computing professional with a secondary school teacher, and helping that teacher develop their coding skills in the classroom over a six month period. This experience paper describes the approach we took in piloting our programme with 10 teachers in 8 schools who taught over 1,100 students in 2019. We also describe our current scale-up in 2020 to work with around 60 teachers, around 40 volunteers, over 25 schools, and more than 6,000 students. Our goal is to work with hundreds of schools in 2021.
Virtual Reality in Computer Science Education: A Systematic Review 26th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology Pirker, Johanna; Dengel, Andreas; Holly, Michael; Safikhani, Saeed Virtual reality (VR) technologies have become more affordable and accessible in recent years. This is opening up new methods and opportunities in the field of digital learning. VR can offer new forms of interactive learning and working, especially for subjects from the STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) area. In this context we investigate the potential and application of VR for computer science education with a systematic review in this paper. We present a formal literature review on the use of VR technologies in computer science education. We focus on the identification of factors such as learning objectives, technologies used, interaction characteristics, and challenges and advantages of using fully immersive VR for computer science education.
Creating Opportunities for Children's Critical Reflections on AI, Robotics and Other Intelligent Technologies Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference: Extended Abstracts Charisi, Vicky; Malinverni, Laura; Schaper, Marie-Monique; Rubegni, Elisa The increasing presence of robotics, automated systems, and AI in everyday life is carrying important ethical and social implications for both those who design and develop them as well as for the users. Addressing these complex issues requires active collaboration between multiple stakeholders, including children. Nonetheless, even if emergent technologies are becoming increasingly present in education, most technology-mediated educational projects for children tend to focus on the development of technical skills, leaving little room for critical reflection. This tendency runs the risk of missing opportunities to truly empower children as critical users, (future) responsible designers and skilled stakeholders in the dialogue around ethical concerns on technology. Starting from this perspective, the workshop aims at tracing research lines and opening questions around strategies, methods, tools, and perspectives to support children in developing an ethical and critical sensitivity in the use, design, and development of emergent technologies
Planning the World's Most Inclusive PD Project Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference: Extended Abstracts Constantin, Aurora; Korte, Jessica; Wilson, Cara; Alexandru, Cristina Adriana; Good, Judith; Sim, Gavin; Read, Janet; Fails, Jerry Alan; Eriksson, Eva Inclusivity is central to Participatory Design (PD) practice, but despite significant efforts in IDC and beyond, it is still hard to achieve during PD, because of a series of barriers (e.g. access to users, language). Such barriers increase especially when it comes to ensuring and supporting the participation of children with varying or complex needs, or when prospective participants are geographically distributed. This workshop aims to create the basis of a distributed PD (DPD) protocol to provide practical advice in overcoming the challenges of ensuring inclusivity for children with varying or complex needs around the world. The protocol will build on the participants' prior experience and on a live PD design session with children and adults, and be guided by discussions around approaches to address a specific design problem while maximising inclusivity across geographical boundaries and research contexts. It is intended to become a springboard for the world's most inclusive Distributed PD project.
Physical Computing for Children: Shifting the Pendulum Back to Papertian Ideals Interactions Ananthanarayan, Swamy; Boll, Susanne
Cultivating Creative Coexistence(s): Towards a Critical Education for Creativity Praxis to Construct Fairer Human Coexistences Proceedings of the 16th Participatory Design Conference 2020 - Participation(s) Otherwise - Volume 1 Schultz, Ermelindo; Garcia, Laura Sanchez; Fernandes, Laís Affornali; Paixão, Mateus Ribamar; Kawasaki, Fernanda; Pereira, Roberto Creative education is a central theme in a world where the division between human and intelligent machines produces new work and social relationships. Many researchers and educators reproduce a controversial discourse where being creative is mandatory to ”succeed” professionally and personally in the Creative Society. Situated in a participatory action research project conducted with socioeconomically vulnerable young people and their social educators in Brazil, we draw on learned lessons from this project to challenge such a discourse by introducing the notion of Creative Coexistence(s). We introduce this notion and discuss four pillars that sustain it and give people a base to promote creativity as a means to produce fairer human coexistence(s). By developing a critical discussion on the literature, and by presenting five scenarios on creative coexistence(s) activities, we elaborate and discuss the four pillars to cultivate creative coexistence(s): 1.Questioning the Creative Society, 2.Freirean-Papertian praxis, 3.Young people as (re)makers, and 4.Coexistence-centered experiences.
A Pre-Service Pathway for Preparing Future AP CS Principles Teachers Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Gray, Jeff; Odom-Bartel, Rebecca; Zelkowski, Jeremy; Hamner, Karl; Rodgers-Farris, Sierra The surge of interest in K-12 computer science (CS) over the past decade has led to a deep need for a corresponding expansion of trained teachers. The primary focus of most K-12 CS teacher professional development has been for current in-service teachers who have little background in CS. To raise the importance of CS within Colleges of Education, we believe that new pathways and experiences are needed for pre-service Education majors to learn more about authentic CS topics and pedagogy. This experience report summarizes our efforts over the past two years to prepare Secondary Math Education (SEMA) majors to teach AP CS Principles (AP CSP). Our approach consists of the following curricular activities: 1) a two-course sequence, with the first course mapping to the content topics of the AP CSP Curriculum Framework, and the second course consisting of a reflection of CS methods and pedagogy, including opportunities for SEMA students to develop and present their own AP CSP lesson plans; 2) opportunities for SEMA students to observe AP CSP classrooms in local high schools through our partnership with experienced AP CSP teachers; 3) summer participation in a College Board AP Summer Institute for AP CSP, and 4) a six-week ETS Praxis CS preparation modules-based course, offered to both pre-service SEMA students and in-service teachers. We summarize our lessons learned and present results that suggest our approach is preparing pre-service students with pedagogical and content knowledge that meets or exceeds current in-service training models (including an analysis of recent Praxis results for CS certification in our state).
Teacher Perceptions of Feedback in High School Programming Education: A Thematic Analysis Proceedings of the 15th Workshop on Primary and Secondary Computing Education Crow, Tyne; Kirk, Diana; Luxton-Reilly, Andrew; Tempero, Ewan Fundamental principles of programming are being added to many school curricula world-wide. In New Zealand, digital technologies progress outcomes and assessment standards have recently been added to the national school curriculum. Among other things, the curriculum and assessment standards relate to aspects of code quality and decomposition as well as producing the logic and syntax of functional programs. To understand how teachers provide feedback to support student learning in these areas we conducted a survey relating to feedback on programming in the classroom. The survey focused on subcategories of feedback relating to the syntax, style and semantics of the code. We present the results of the survey which showed several themes that relate to categories of feedback. The paper outlines implications for what further support and research could be valuable.
Design Principles behind Beauty and Joy of Computing Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Goldenberg, Paul; Mark, June; Harvey, Brian; Cuoco, Al; Fries, Mary This paper shares the design principles of one Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) course, Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC), both for schools considering curriculum, and for developers in this still-new field. BJC students not only learn about CS, but do some and analyze its social implications; we feel that the job of enticing students into the field isn't complete until students find programming, itself, something they enjoy and know they can do, and its key ideas accessible. Students must feel invited to use their own creativity and logic, and enjoy the power of their logic and the beauty and elegance of the code by which they express it. All kids need genuine challenge and sensible support so all can have the joy of making-seeing themselves as creators, not just consumers, and seeing that it is their own intellect, not just our instructions, that is the source of that making. Framework standards are woven into a consistent social and intellectual storyline to give the curriculum integrity. Principles guide even our choice of programming language. Learners should focus on the logic and structure of their thinking, not on misplaced semicolons; attention to such syntactic detail is antithetical to broadening participation. We feature recursion and higher-order functions because they beautifully exemplify abstraction, a key idea in CS and the CSP framework. BJC also places significant emphasis on the social implications of computing, balancing fundamental optimism about computing technology with a critical view of specific uses of technology.
Children in 2077: Designing Children's Technologies in the Age of Transhumanism Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Buruk, Oğuz 'Oz'; Özcan, Oğuzhan; Baykal, Gökçe Elif; Göksun, Tilbe; Acar, Selçuk; Akduman, Güler; Baytaş, Mehmet Aydın; Beşevli, Ceylan; Best, Joe; Coşkun, Aykut; Genç, Hüseyin Uğur; Kocaballi, A. Baki; Laato, Samuli; Mota, Cássia; Papangelis, Konstantinos; Raftopoulos, Marigo; Ramchurn, Richard; Sádaba, Juan; Thibault, Mattia; Wolff, Annika; Yildiz, Mert What for and how will we design children's technologies in the transhumanism age, and what stance will we take as designers? This paper aims to answer this question with 13 fictional abstracts from sixteen authors of different countries, institutions and disciplines. Transhumanist thinking envisions enhancing human body and mind by blending human biology with technological augmentations. Fundamentally, it seeks to improve the human species, yet the impacts of such movement are unknown and the implications on children's lives and technologies were not explored deeply. In an age, where technologies such as under-skin chips or brain-machine interfaces can clearly be defined as transhumanist, our aim is to reveal probable pitfalls and benefits of those technologies on children's lives by using the power of design fiction. Thus, main contribution of this paper is to create diverse presentation of provocative research ideas that will foster the discussion on the transhumanist technologies impacting the lives of children in the future.
Pedal: An Infrastructure for Automated Feedback Systems Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Gusukuma, Luke; Bart, Austin Cory; Kafura, Dennis This paper describes Pedal, an innovative approach to the automated creation of feedback given to students in programming classes. Pedal is so named because it supports the PEDAgogical goals of instructors and is an expandable Library of components motivated by these goals. Pedal currently comes with components for type inferencing, flow analysis, pattern matching, and unit testing to provide an instructor with a rich set of resources to use in authoring and prioritizing feedback. The larger vision is the loosely-coupled architecture whose components can be readily expanded or replaced. The Pedal library components are motivated by a study of contemporary automated feedback systems and our own experience. Pedal's components are described and examples are given of Pedal-based feedback from three different introductory classes at two different universities. The integration of Pedal into several programming and autograding environments is briefly described.
A Real-Time Distributed Toolkit to Ease Children’s Exploration of IoT Proceedings of the 11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Shaping Experiences, Shaping Society Wallbaum, Torben; Ananthanarayan, Swamy; Matviienko, Andrii; Boll, Susanne Children are increasingly exposed to everyday objects with embedded computing and wireless capabilities. However, understanding how these devices collect data, communicate information to other devices, and interpret program instructions is not typically taught to children. Moreover, programming these devices still requires considerable knowledge particularly for primary school children. In this paper, we showcase a distributed toolkit of various sensors and output modules, each with wireless capability, that can independently or in concert work together. This is enabled by a programming environment with a real-time interpreter that can connect and update the state of the modules on-the-fly. We tested the system with 32 primary school children in an after-school study and found that the majority of children knew how to couple sensors to different output modalities to solve various devised scenarios. For some children, the toolkit was also used to build IoT games or fulfill personal tasks.
Investigating Children's Spontaneous Gestures When Programming Using TUIs and GUIs Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference Almjally, Abrar; Howland, Kate; Good, Judith Spontaneous gestures produced during mathematics learning have been widely studied, however, research on the role of gesture in computing education is limited. This paper presents an investigation into children's use of spontaneous gestures when learning programming using either a tangible user interface (TUI) or a graphical user interface (GUI). The study explored the relationship between spontaneous gestures, interface type and learning outcomes in a programming lesson for primary school students aged 6-7. In the study, 34 participants engaged in a learning activity lasting approximately 37 minutes, using a TUI or a GUI. The study used a between-subjects design, and mixed methods. Pre-test and post-test data were collected, and sessions were video recorded and subsequently coded and analysed. A video analysis scheme, adapted from mathematics education research, was used to code the spontaneous gestures produced during the learning session. We found a statistically significant difference between the mean learning gains of high-frequency gesturers and low-frequency gesturers, with the top quartile showing significantly greater learning gains. There was no significant difference in the frequency of gestures between interface types. A qualitative analysis of representational gestures showed that some children use spontaneous hand gestures to demonstrate abstract computational concepts, providing evidence for the embodiment of children's offline thinking in the computing domain.
Coming to Your Senses: Promoting Critical Thinking about Sensors through Playful Interaction in Classrooms Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference Lechelt, Susan; Rogers, Yvonne; Marquardt, Nicolai Learning through exploration is assumed to be a powerful way of introducing children to computer science concepts. However, it is uncertain how exploring physical computing toolkits can promote movement between conceptual knowledge and abstract reflection, and lead to critical thinking about technology. We investigated how children aged 9-11 years explored and reasoned about personal and environmental data sensors, using a playful exploration-based physical toolkit in their classroom. We report on the ways in which critical thinking about sensor accuracy and reliability developed through reflective dialogue and playful interaction, taking into account the support structures embedded in the classroom. Finally, we discuss strategies for designing exploration-based learning for classroom settings, to promote critical thinking about data sensing.
Computational Thinking Interventions in Higher Education: A Scoping Literature Review of Interventions Used to Teach Computational Thinking Koli Calling '20: Proceedings of the 20th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research de Jong, Imke; Jeuring, Johan Computational Thinking is seen as a crucial skill in an increasingly digital society. Researchers and educators in higher education therefore aim to improve the Computational Thinking (CT) skills of students using appropriate interventions. However, there is currently no overview of interventions used to teach CT and how effective they are. With this scoping literature review, we provide such an overview by identifying articles that discuss interventions used to teach CT in higher education. We identify the teaching approaches used in these interventions, and discuss their effectiveness and how this is assessed. Furthermore, we look at the use of adaptive interventions. Our search of three academic databases (Scopus, ACM and ERIC) resulted in 1839 articles. After screening, 49 articles remained. A detailed examination of the interventions discussed in these articles showed that CT is still often taught through programming assignments. The interventions are evaluated in a myriad of ways, making it difficult to compare the effectiveness of interventions. We therefore suggest making use of more standardized instruments to evaluate the effectiveness. Finally, although scaffolding is applied, interventions are not often adapted to the actual proficiency level of a student.
Abstraction Through Multiple Representations in an Integrated Computational Thinking Environment Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Gautam, Aakash; Bortz, Whitney; Tatar, Deborah We present reflections based on qualitative analysis of data from the CHEM+C Project which promotes computational thinking (CT) in classrooms through integration with science classes. The curriculum utilizes multiple representations, requiring students to work with physical phenomena, chemical equations, digital simulations, and modifiable code-based representations. Much CT focus on abstraction naturally emphasizes (1) extraction of a set of features from an object or process, and (2) finding commonality between objects and processes. But Rosen encourages us to think about abstraction as also including the production of new concepts or actions. Integrating CT into science offers the possibility of enhancing this aspect of abstraction. Changing the representational affordances available to the students allows them to take their CT thinking beyond learning-to-abstract towards learning-through-abstraction. This perspective moves computation from an internally focused exercise into the expression of valued ideas in a computational medium.
Development and Validation of the Computational Thinking Concepts and Skills Test Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Peteranetz, Markeya S.; Morrow, Patrick M.; Soh, Leen-Kiat Calls for standardized and validated measures of computational thinking have been made repeatedly in recent years. Still, few such tests have been created and even fewer have undergone rigorous psychometric evaluation and been made available to researchers. The purpose of this study is to report our work in developing and validating a test of computational thinking concepts and skills and to compare different scoring methods for the test. This computational thinking exam is intended to be used in computing education research as a common measure of computational thinking so that the research community will be able to make more meaningful comparisons across samples and studies. The Computational Thinking Concepts and Skills Test (CTCAST) was administered to students in several courses, evaluated and revised, and then administered to another group of students. Part of the revision included changing half of the items to a multiple-select format. The test scores using the three scoring methods were compared to each other and to scores on a different test of core computer science knowledge. Results indicate the CTCAST and the test of core computer science knowledge measure similar, but not identical, aspects of students' knowledge and skills, and that item-level statistics vary according to the scoring method that is used. Recommendations for using and scoring the test are presented.
Teaching Computational Thinking with Interventions Adapted to Undergraduate Students' Proficiency Levels Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education de Jong, Imke Adapting a teaching intervention to the proficiency level of a student improves learning when teaching programming. The goal of this PhD-project is to discover to what extent this holds when teaching computational thinking (CT) skills. I will first determine how teaching interventions can be adapted to CT proficiency levels, and then examine their effectiveness through a series of longitudinal studies.
Progression Of Computational Thinking Skills In Swedish Compulsory Schools With Block-Based Programming Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Australasian Computing Education Conference Zhang, LeChen; Nouri, Jalal; Rolandsson, Lennart Although Computational Thinking and Programming have become obligatory in many national curricula, the majority of teachers in practice are currently in dire need of support from both the research and teaching community. A national research and teacher development project was initiated in Sweden to address this issue. To develop their pedagogical competence in these new subjects, 31 in-service teachers from the project performed lesson studies at their schools. This study collected and analyzed the documentation of 12 lesson studies regarding how computational thinking skills are taught and assessed in K–9, with block-based programming. The study applies a validated CT framework to identify the involved computational thinking skills. The result presents a progression stage scheme for these skills in compulsory schools. The paper also discusses the problems and challenges in the assessment of computational thinking skills.
Extending and Evaluating the Use-Modify-Create Progression for Engaging Youth in Computational Thinking Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Martin, Fred; Lee, Irene; Lytle, Nicholas; Sentance, Sue; Lao, Natalie The Use-Modify-Create progression (UMC) was conceptualized in 2011 after comparing the productive integration of computational thinking across National Science Foundation-funded Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (NSF ITEST) programs. Since that time, UMC has been widely promoted as a means to scaffold student learning of computational thinking (CT) while enabling personalization and allowing for creative adaptations of pre-existing computational artifacts. In addition to UMC's continued application, it has recently been utilized to scaffold student learning in topics as diverse as machine learning, e-textiles, and computer programming. UMC has also been applied to instructional goals other than "supporting students in becoming creators of computational artifacts." This panel will re-examine the UMC progression and refine our understanding of when its use is suitable, and when not, and share findings on evaluations and extensions to UMC that are productive in new and different contexts.
A Designerly Approach as a Foundation for School Children's Computational Thinking Skills While Developing Digital Games Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference Brooks, Eva; Sjöberg, Jeanette This paper contributes to the contemporary debate on the increasing use of computational thinking (CT) in primary schools. It is based on an empirical study in which 28 Swedish third-grade school children (9-10 years of age) participated in a creative workshop where they were challenged to design a digital game using stop-motion film technique, working in groups. The study applies a designerly approach to game design activities to investigate what aspects of computational skills can be identified when children employ stop motion filmmaking as a means to envision a digital game design idea and how a designerly approach can enable them to enact dimensions of their computational skills? The data included video observations, casual conversations, and stop-motion videos representing the children's game design ideas. The analysis identified three aspects of computational thinking strategies while children produced stop-motion films: step-by-step procedural skills; design and arrangement skills; and computational perspectives.
1st ACM SIGSPATIAL Workshop on Geo-Computational Thinking in Education (GeoEd 2019): Chicago, Illinois, USA - November 5, 2019 SIGSPATIAL Special Magdy, Amr; Dony, Coline The 1st International Workshop on Geo-computational Thinking in Education (GeoEd 2019) was held in conjunction with the 27th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2019). The workshop is intended to bring together experts from both geography (or related) and computer science disciplines who have primary interest in geospatial data and technologies, either from academia or industry, to discuss the grand challenges towards improving existing learning pathways through integration of geo-computational thinking in higher education. This could impact a variety of disciplines that increasingly deal with geospatial data beyond geography, such as social sciences, environmental sciences, public policy, climatology, and other geo-related disciplines. The workshop speakers and attendants have discussed their vision on challenges and opportunities of various topics within the workshop scope.
Pythons and Martians and Finches, Oh My! Lessons Learned from a Mandatory 8th Grade Python Class Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Nanavati, Amal; Owens, Aileen; Stehlik, Mark As computing technologies continue to have a greater impact on daily life, it becomes increasingly important for the K-12 education system to prepare students for the computerized world. In this paper, we present the curriculum design, implementation, and results from a one-trimester introductory Python course that is mandatory for all 8th graders in our school district. This course is a crucial component of the K-12 computational thinking pathways we are developing at our school district, which take students from block-based programming and computational thinking (elementary school) to text-based programming and applications of computer science (high school). Our mandatory 8th grade course serves as a bridge between these two components. We present qualitative results that highlight the challenges that arose from teaching a course for all students – not just those with a prior interest in computing – and how the instructor overcame those challenges. We also present quantitative results that demonstrate the course's positive impact on students' attitudes towards computer science, their intent to re-engage with computer science in the future, and the gender gap with regards to confidence in computer science.
Didactic Methods of Integrating Programming in Mathematics in Primary School: Findings from a Swedish National Project Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Ahmed, Gashawa; Nouri, Jalal; Zhang, LeChen; Norén, Eva The association between mathematics and programming in an educational context is not new. Today, programming has been introduced into curricula worldwide for younger children. In the Swedish case, primary school teachers are expected to integrate programming in mathematics education from autumn 2018. However, Swedish teachers' knowledge of programming and programming didactics is limited. Meanwhile, there is little research on K-9 programming education. This has led to the dilemma that the mathematics teachers have limited support in didactic knowledge and good examples. This study reports on a teacher professional development project in programming. More specifically, teachers used Lesson Study to plan, execute, and evaluate lessons that integrated programming into various school subjects in elementary school. This study analyzed the didactic strategies developed in 10 lesson studies, as well as mapped the opportunities and challenges of pupils' learning in the mathematics subject. The result was the identification of three didactic strategies, which were analog programming, robot programming and block programming, as well as 11 didactic methods applied within these strategies. The paper contributes with examples of the didactic methods that teachers have developed and evaluated using lesson study. The paper further provides insights on how teachers can take progression into account by applying the three didactic strategies. At last but not least, the study shows a great need for teachers to develop computational thinking abilities.
Introducing Coding through Tabletop Board Games and Their Digital Instantiations across Elementary Classrooms and School Libraries Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Lee, Victor R.; Poole, Frederick; Clarke-Midura, Jody; Recker, Mimi; Rasmussen, Melissa This experience report describes an approach for helping elementary schools integrate computational thinking and coding by leveraging existing resources and infrastructure that do not rely on 1-1 computing. A particular focus is using the school library and media center as a site to complement and enhance classroom instruction on coding. Further, our approach builds upon "unplugged" knowledge and practices that are already familiar to and motivating for students, in this case tabletop board games. Through these games, students can use their prior knowledge and ease with tabletop gaming mechanics to cue relevant ideas for core computational concepts. We describe a model and an instructional unit spanning across classroom and school library settings that builds upon board game play as a source domain for computing knowledge. Building on expansive framing, the model emphasizes instructional linkages being made between one domain (the tabletop board game) and another (specially designed Scratch project shells with partially complete code blocks) such that the reasoning activities and different contexts are seen as instantiations of the same encompassing context. We present the experiences of three elementary school teachers as they implemented the unit in their classrooms and with their school librarian. We also show initial findings on the impact of the unit on student interest (N=87), as measured by pre- and post- surveys. We conclude with lessons learned about ways to improve the unit and future classroom implementations.
FLAMES: A Socially Relevant Computing Experience for High School Students Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Isvik, Amy In this poster, I examine a two-pronged, female-oriented, high school computing outreach program, FLAMES, incorporating 1) workshops throughout the school year and 2) an 8-week high school summer intern program run within the Game2Learn lab at North Carolina State University. I focus on examining the effects of the program on students' skills and affect towards computing. Literature has shown that socially relevant themes in computing are engaging for women and underrepresented minorities. Students understanding how these themes connect to computer science helps broaden their view of computing and increases their interest in pursuing a computing career. This initiative uses socially relevant themes, specifically around the context of developing educational tools and block-based programming activities for use in K-12 classrooms. High school students were trained to assist North and South Carolina teachers with the development of Computational Thinking-infused curricula for their science, math, English, and social studies classrooms. Additionally, summer students assisted in research labs alongside undergraduate researchers, aiding in field study observations, software testing, and data classification. This poster presents the design of the program, an overview of the curriculum, and results including both student and teacher feedback. Results show that the outreach program has benefited each of the parties involved, including its student participants, researchers, and the teachers assisted by the participants. I share lessons learned from this experience in order to help other CS departments develop similar broadening participation in computing programs.
Opening the Black Box: Investigating Student Understanding of Data Displays Using Programmable Sensor Technology Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research Gendreau Chakarov, Alexandra; Biddy, Quentin; Jacobs, Jennifer; Recker, Mimi; Sumner, Tamara This paper describes the design and classroom implementation of a week-long unit that aims to integrate computational thinking (CT) into middle school science classes using programmable sensor technology. The goals of this sensor immersion unit are to help students understand why and how to use sensor and visualization technology as a powerful data-driven tool for scientific inquiry in ways that align with modern scientific practice. The sensor immersion unit is anchored in the investigation of classroom data where students engage with the sensor technology to ask questions about and design displays of the collected data. Students first generate questions about how data data displays work and then proceed through a set of programming exercises to help them understand how to collect and display data collected from their classrooms by building their own mini data displays. Throughout the unit students draw and update their hand drawn models representing their current understanding of how the data displays work. The sensor immersion unit was implemented by ten middle school science teachers during the 2019/2020 school year. Student drawn models of the classroom data displays from four of these teachers were analyzed to examine students' understandings in four areas: function of sensor components, process models of data flow, design of data displays, and control of the display. Students showed the best understanding when describing sensor components. Students exhibited greater confusion when describing the process of how data streams moved through displays and how programming controlled the data displays.
Computational Sophistication of Games Programmed by Children: A Model for Its Measurement ACM Trans. Comput. Educ. Werner, Linda; Denner, Jill; Campe, Shannon; Torres, David M. This article builds on prior work that aims to measure computational learning (CL) during middle school. Since game computational sophistication (GCS) has been used as a proxy for a student’s engagement in CL we build on their model to more completely describe the relationship between different types of building blocks of computer games and GCS. In doing so, we present a single quantitative measurement for GCS. Our model, called GCS 2.0, has face validity for 39 games, each programmed by a pair of middle school children. We choose four of these games, two with high GCS and two with low GCS, and discuss the computational building blocks found in each game. We do this to help the reader better understand our measurement of GCS and its relationship to CL.
Eliciting Student Scratch Script Understandings via Scratch Charades Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Franklin, Diana; Salac, Jean; Thomas, Cathy; Sekou, Zene; Krause, Sue With many school districts nationwide integrating Computer Science (CS) and Computational Thinking (CT) instruction at the K-8 level, it is crucial researchers closely inspect the relationship between program expression and student understandings. In this study, we propose and report on our use of Scratch Charades, a game in which students act out Scratch scripts while others build them. The purpose of Scratch Charades is to familiarize students with scripts and blocks without the cognitive overhead of the complex user interface. However, in this study, we also used it to elicit student understandings about Scratch blocks and scripts to design mnemonics to help students debug their code. We propose two building and/or debugging strategies based on our observations.
VWorld: An Immersive VR System for Learning Programming Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference: Extended Abstracts Jin, Qiao; Liu, Yu; Yuan, Ye; Yarosh, Lana; Rosenberg, Evan Suma The growing development and commercialization of Virtual Reality (VR) allow more children to get access to this technology. VR features a new, more emotional relevant experience with a sense of presence and high interactivity. In this paper, we present VWorld, an immersive VR system designed to boost children's creativity and computational thinking skill. VWorld enables children to create their own virtual world by putting 3D objects on a miniature map, then explore the world and control the chosen objects by constructing program sequences. We present the design and implementation of VWorld system, with the design considerations of children in our VR environment, and conduct the preliminary evaluation and the future plan of the study.
Introducing Artificial Intelligence Fundamentals with LearningML: Artificial Intelligence Made Easy Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Rodríguez-García, Juan David; Moreno-León, Jesús; Román-González, Marcos; Robles, Gregorio This paper is a summary of the webinar hold on October 22nd at the “Computational thinking and robotics in education” track in which the LearningML project was presented. The LearningML project aims to bring the fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to children and people interested in acquiring knowledge on this subject in an easy way. AI has heavily irrupted in society and everyone is using, more or less consciously, application based on AI. Therefore, some kind of AI literacy is needed if we are to educate critically thinking citizens able to understand technologies that have a relevant impact on their lives. In this presentation we show how LearningML can help us to reach this goal trough programming applications based on Machine Learning (ML), the most prevalent subfield of AI today.
In Pursuit of CS-Based Educational Content Suitable for Broader Audiences Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference on Information Technology Education Winter, Victor; Diaz-Kelsey, Judith Monarrez The important role that technology will play in the future requires that IT literacy, IT fluency, and interest in IT careers, in particular, increase significantly in the near future. This study investigates relationships between a variety of student attributes (e.g., general educational interests, classroom behavior, and gender) and engagement with a set of introductory CS-based educational activities. The goal of the study is to gain a better understanding of how to design CS-based educational content that appeals to broader student populations. Among other findings, the study revealed (unsurprisingly) that interest in math played a significant role in the level of engagement for males having STEM-related interests, while interest in reading played a significant role in the level of engagement for females having non-STEM related interests. The most significant finding of the study was that females having non-STEM related interests engaged more extensively than all other student populations.
Future-Proofing Kiwi Kids Through the Use of Digital Technology Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Liesaputra, Veronica; Ramirez-Prado, Guillermo; Barmada, Bashar; Song, Lei The common approach for introducing middle school and high school students to computational thinking and engineering is through programming or robotics activities that were designed without much social context. Therefore, one of the challenges such outreach programs pose is further stereotyping of students who are interested in computer science, by presenting them as people who ought to be hyper-intelligent and very much focused on computers with no social skills. Realizing the above, and wanting to attract a diverse audience to study computer science, we developed a one-day workshop which showcases the interdisciplinary nature of computer science and the various ways computing can help students discover and solve societal problems. We chose multiculturalism, cyber security and air pollution as the context of our computational thinking activities. This paper describes our experiences in developing and teaching the workshops that runs three to five times a year, hosted either in our institute or at local schools. Regardless of students' previous STEM experiences and socioeconomic statuses, both students and teachers reported that the knowledge gained enabled them to either create a computer program or a robot and also led to a better understanding of how computers can be used in daily life. In other words, the workshop successfully opened the minds and perspectives of the middle school and high school students on computer science. Additionally, over time, we also observed an increased number of students and schools participating in such workshops.
Looking Ahead: Professional Development Needs for Experienced CS Teachers Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Kafai, Yasmin; Baskin, Jake; Fields, Deborah; Goode, Joanna; Twarek, Bryan; Yadav, Aman As computer science is moving into K-12 education, most efforts have focused on getting new teachers into computer science or integrating computing within STEM topics. But one aspect that has received less attention, if any, is the continued professional development of experienced CS teachers. We know little about the particular learning needs of experienced CS teachers, knowledge that will be critical as the CS teaching force expands significantly in coming years. In this panel, we address this knowledge gap from the perspective of teacher education research and professional development-what we need to know about deepening teachers' pedagogical practices and content knowledge-an understanding that will be instrumental for retaining and enriching teachers in CS education.
Work in Progress Report: A STEM EcoSystem Approach to CS/CT for All in a Middle School Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Cao, Lijuan; Rorrer, Audrey; Pugalee, David; Maher, Mary Lou; Dorodchi, Mohsen; Frye, David; Barnes, Tiffany; Wiebe, Eric This project is a Research to Practice Partnership (RPP) between two middle schools and two universities. It focuses on investigating problems and on identifying solutions around increasing participation and interest in computer science (CS). We aim to do this by identifying, experimenting with, and fine-tuning methods to help students develop computational thinking (CT) skills. The research employs a STEM ecosystem model, which facilitates a support structure that aims to mitigate barriers and impact students as they progress in STEM areas. While this RPP is still a work in progress, we present data from the first year of our collaboration with one of the middle schools. While the research questions guiding this RPP are intended to be iterative and revised annually, year one data provides perspectives on (1) barriers to developing a STEM ecosystem that supports CS/CT for every student through integration into science, math, and language arts courses, (2) the factors or interventions needed for the development of a CS/CT focused ecosystem that supports everyone in the school, (3) the indicators of success for a CS/CT focused STEM ecosystem in a school, and (4) how the ecosystem prepares and engages all students for CS/CT work in high school. Year one data is discussed in terms of the STEM ecosystem framework and in how it will guide the next steps in this partnership. This project contributes to the understanding of how to prepare future generations for participation in a workforce where knowledge of the foundations of CS/CT is integral to success.
The Association of High School Computer Science Content and Pedagogy with Students’ Success in College Computer Science ACM Trans. Comput. Educ. Burgiel, Heidi; Sadler, Philip M.; Sonnert, Gerhard The number of computer science (CS) courses has been dramatically expanding in U.S. high schools (HS). In comparison with well-established courses in mathematics and science, little is known about how the decisions made by HS CS teachers regarding how and what to teach impact student performance later in introductory college CS courses. Drawing on a large sample of 2,871 introductory college CS students at 115 U.S. institutions who had taken a CS course in HS, we examined the topic coverage and prevailing instructional methods in the HS course and investigated how these experiences influenced student performance in college CS. Controlling for differences in student background, we find two predictors of higher grades in college CS: greater frequency of coding-related activities in HS (programming, debugging, studying algorithms) and lower frequency of “non-coding” computer use (e.g., data analysis, computer security). Interaction models revealed a more complex story. Coding-related activity more heavily benefited students who did not have coding help available at home. In the 28% of college CS courses in which instructors employed innovative pedagogies, students with higher ACT or SAT mathematics scores had a greater advantage than in traditionally taught courses. Finally, in the innovative college courses, students whose HS CS exams had typically included testing on vocabulary did worse than students whose exams had not included such tests.
SCAPA: Development of a Questionnaire Assessing Self-Concept and Attitudes Toward Programming Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Leifheit, Luzia; Tsarava, Katerina; Ninaus, Manuel; Ostermann, Klaus; Golle, Jessika; Trautwein, Ulrich; Moeller, Korbinian There is a constantly growing number of initiatives asserting the relevance of programming already in primary education and offering respective interventions with the goal to foster interest in and positive attitudes toward programming. To evaluate to what extent this goal is achieved, assessing students' attitudes toward programming reliably is indispensable. However, there still is a need for validated instruments for assessing this in elementary school students. This seems particularly relevant as self-concept and attitudes toward a school subject were repeatedly observed to be significant predictors of learning motivation and achievement. The newly developed Self-Concept and Attitude toward Programming Assessment (SCAPA) is based on existing instruments for assessing students' self-concept and attitude toward mathematics. SCAPA measures aspects of students' self-concept and attitudes toward programming on seven scales: i) self-reported previous programming experience and understanding, ii) self-concept, iii) intrinsic value belief, iv) attainment value belief, v) utility value belief, vi) cost belief, and vii) compliance and persistence. We administered SCAPA to 197 elementary school students between seven and ten years of age in the context of an evaluation of a computational thinking intervention. Data were analyzed for reliability (i.e., internal consistency on item and scale level) and construct validity (by means of confirmatory factor analysis). Results indicated good reliability for all scales except for the self-reported previous programming experience and understanding scale. Overall, these results reflect SCAPA's suitability for assessing different aspects of elementary school students' self-concept and attitudes toward programming.
Phenomenological Programming: A Novel Approach to Designing Domain Specific Programming Environments for Science Learning Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference Aslan, Umit; LaGrassa, Nicholas; Horn, Michael; Wilensky, Uri There has been a growing interest in the use of computer-based models of scientific phenomena as part of classroom curricula, especially models that learners create for themselves. However, while studies show that constructing computational models of phenomena can serve as a powerful foundation for learning science, this approach has struggled to gain widespread adoption in classrooms because it not only requires teachers to learn sophisticated technological tools (such as computer programming), but it also requires precious instructional time to introduce these tools to students. Moreover, many core scientific topics such as the kinetic molecular theory, natural selection, and electricity are difficult to model even with novice-friendly environments. To address these limitations, we present a novel design approach called phenomenological programming that builds on students' intuitive understanding of real-world objects, patterns, and events to support the construction of agent-based computational models. We present preliminary case studies and discuss their implications for STEM content learning and the learnability and expressive power of phenomenological programming.
The PANaMa Project – RoboCamp 2019 a Case Study: Lessons Learned from an Educational Robotics Based Science Camp Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Pedersen, Bjarke Kristian Maigaard Kjær; Larsen, Jørgen Christian; Nielsen, Jacob In this article we present the details and findings from a case study of a twice held, five day long, science camp on robot technology, with the objective of motivating the participants (N=19), to pursue a future career within the field of STEM. The participants were 7th to 9th grade pupils from Germany. In the article, we describe the results of combining traditional teaching, with constructionism and problem-based learning, as an approach to project work. The projects were set in a real-world context and designed to accommodate for a low floor, high ceiling. In addition, a series of materials were developed with the purpose of limiting the scope of information the participants had to search through, to find the relevant information needed, when working autonomously. Data from the camp was collected through a mixed methods approach, including pre- and post-questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, conversations with the participants and observations. The approach and project design were overall positively received, and it was concluded that the camp had fulfilled its objective. Based on the results from the camp, a series of recommendations for similar future initiatives, was also established.
CodeRhythm: Designing Inclusive Tangible Programming Blocks Companion Publication of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference Rong, Zhiyi; Chan, Ngo Fung; Chen, Taizhou; Zhu, Kening Tangible programming toolkits are widely used to nurture computational literacy in the young generation. However, novice learners with visual impairment have been neglected as these toolkits are primarily designed for sighted students, and mostly rely on visual cues in the whole manipulation process. To fill this gap, we present CodeRhythm, a tangible programming toolkit for engaging blind and visually impaired (BVI) students to learn basic programming concepts by creating simple melodies (Figure 1). In the rest of the paper, we will first discuss the background of tangible educational toolkits and accessible programming tools, describe the design features of CodeRhythm, and discuss the feedback and future improvement by the preliminary user study.
Summer Coding Camp as a Gateway to STEM Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education LePendu, Paea; Cheung, Cecilia; Salloum, Mariam; Sheffler, Pamela; Downey, Kelly Just about everyone in the U.S., from the National Science Foundation down to local districts, has been pushing to introduce computer science concepts into K-12. Nevertheless, many students complete high school never having the chance to learn CS. We have created a summer coding camp for high-school students (including 8th graders entering 9th grade) and designed a multi-year study to assess its effectiveness as an informal learning environment, based on theories of human motivation such as Self-Determination Theory. The camp is a 1-week immersion experience, 9am to 5pm with food and activities, that introduces basic programming via MIT APP Inventor. Lecture material and in-class exercises draw upon meaningful applications, ones appealing to "social good." One unique aspect is the inclusion of professional and career development activities that engage students and broaden perspectives on CS and its applications. For example, the camp includes a college information session, alumni Skype and in-person talks, off-site visits to nearby companies, and research talks and demos by faculty. Using a pre-and-post survey design, the current study examines the effects of the camp on student self-efficacy and interest in computing, as well as general school engagement and motivation. Results confirm that participation in the summer camp increased students' self-efficacy and interest in computing, enhanced engagement in school on topics in general, and strengthened intrinsic motivation for completing schoolwork. The effects were similar for boys and girls.
Blinded by Simplicity: Locating the Social Dimension in Software Development Process Literature Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability Gustavsson, Johanna Liz; Penzenstadler, Birgit The software development process is a complex human, intellectual and labor-intensive activity and human related factors have shown to be the most significant contributors to software system failures. Lacking the ability to identify or quantify these factors, software practitioners will not learn from the failures caused by them. Although, social factors give rise to high failure rates in software development projects they tend to be ignored. Business continues as usual. The inability for software engineers to attain a holistic and inclusive approach will leave the social dimension out and undermine the realization of a fully sustainable software development process.This paper builds on the master's thesis with the same title completed in December 2019 at Stockholm University. The thesis demonstrates how research literature on software development processes addresses (or not) the social dimension of sustainability from a holistic point of view. The results indicate that the practice of dealing holistically with complexity including the social dimension is still underdeveloped. Further research is suggested regarding the development of adequate supporting tools, social skills, and managerial attitudes and behaviors.
The Effectiveness of Robotics Intervention Strategy (RIS) among Robotics Elite Members Proceedings of the 2020 11th International Conference on E-Education, E-Business, E-Management, and E-Learning Pillar, Genevieve A.; Prudente, Maricar S.; Aguja, Socorro E. To probe how Robotics Intervention Strategy (RIS) facilitated the development of students' robotics basic programming skills, this study was conducted. Grades 4 to 12 student-participants (N=26) were taught using RIS module designed by the teachers-researchers using the Response To Intervention (RTI) framework. The RIS module was consisted of Required Robotics Technical Skills (RRTS) Pre-test, Scaffolding, Performance Feedbacking, Periodic Drills, Progress Monitoring, and Required Robotics Technical Skills (RRTS) Post-Test. The RIS module involved the use of mobile learning devices, EV3 Lego Mindstorms Ev3 Core Set 45544, and playing field. An action research design was employed to determine the effectiveness of Robotics Intervention Strategy (RIS) among Robotics Elite Members of the De La Salle Santiago Zobel (DLSZ) School. The effectiveness was determined by students' performance in the RRTS developed by the researchers and teachers. The pretest score (M=2.50; SD=0.76158) implied that before the intervention, the elite team members' robotics technical skills was at the approaching proficiency level. After the intervention, the posttest score (M=4.31; SD=0.73589) suggested that the elite members' robotics technical skills were approaching the expert level. Moreover, Cohen's d value of 2.4046 indicated large effect of the Robotics Intervention Strategy (RIS). Paired t-test (t=-16.255; p=.000) analysis revealed that there was a significant difference in the elite members' pretest (M=2.50) and posttest scores (Mean=4.31) in the practical assessment, with the posttest score (M=4.31: SD=0.73589) significantly higher than the pretest score (M=2.50: SD=0.76158). This indicated that the RIS significantly improved the elite members' performance level. Results of the study supported the importance of intensive interventions because it gave an opportunity for the school's to figure out ways to serve the students better. The RIS facilitated the most specific needs for the students as the approach made modification, made adaptations, and reflected on RRTS performance-based approach so that the kind of intensive intervention the coaches provide was really specific to that student.
CS 0: Culture and Coding Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Lionelle, Albert; Grinslad, Josette; Beveridge, J. Ross In 2018, Colorado State University redesigned their CS-0 course to become a general education requirement for the university within Arts and Humanities, and a guaranteed transfer course across the state for a similar category in other universities. The first CS course in the State to be accepted as a GT-Pathway course. This redesign had to be carefully done due to a need to introduce liberal arts style topics such as CS History, Philosophy and Ethics and Inclusive Design issues, while maintaining current coding and student success standards that were already expected for the CS-0 at the university. We termed this combination as Culture and Coding. In order to add more without reducing retention, the course was redesigned around the Psychology of Learning and spacing of topics in a "Spiral" Manner. Each topic was briefly introduced, and throughout the semester, students would dive deeper into the topics. This allowed for a 50% reduction of time focused on teaching coding topics, with students performing equivalent on exams compared to previous models of the course that focused 100% of the time on coding topics. Furthermore, students taught by the spiral teaching method outperformed students taught using traditional methods in the follow-on course. Our evaluation suggests that the spiral model of teaching computer science may allow for greater retention of topics, allowing classes to either cover additional concepts or go more in depth on current topics.
A Conceptual Assessment Framework for K-12 Computer Science Rubric Design Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Akram, Bita; Min, Wookhee; Wiebe, Eric; Navied, Anam; Mott, Bradford; Boyer, Kristy Elizabeth; Lester, James The lack of effective guidelines for assessing students' computer science (CS) competencies is creating significant demand by K-12 teachers for CS assessments to evaluate students' learning. We propose a conceptual assessment framework that guides teachers through designing appropriate assessments for computer science (CS) activities in their classrooms. The framework addresses the critical problem of incorporating CS into K-12 curricula without corresponding assessments. We illustrate its use with the design of a rubric for a bubble sort algorithm situated in a game-based learning environment for middle-grade students. We also apply a preliminary and a revised version of this assessment on two datasets collected from students' interactions with the learning environment. We found consistency among results identified through applying the preliminary and the revised rubric. The results reveal distinctive patterns in students' approaches to CS problem solving and coherency with respect to different aspects of the rubric.*
Interdisciplinary Computing: Applied Computing for Behavioral and Social Sciences Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Carr, Valerie; Jones, Morris; Wei, Belle As the digital economy grows, so does the demand for technology-capable workers who have both computing skills and domain expertise. Growing such a workforce is critical to ensuring the nation's competitiveness, according to a recent National Science Board publication. To address this need, faculty from the Colleges of Engineering and Social Sciences at San Jóse State University worked together to create the Applied Computing for Behavioral and Social Sciences minor degree. The minor targets students in majors such as Psychology and Economics, which have a more diverse student population than that of Computer Science or Engineering. The minor, designed with industry input, includes a four-course sequence that focuses on Python and R and includes topics such as data structures, algorithms, data cleaning and management, and data analysis. Our cohort-based program was built specifically for social science students using social science content, helping to foster a sense of community and belongingness among students. The first full cohort of 26 students graduated in Spring 2019, 48% of whom were female and 23% of whom were underrepresented minorities. Our approach of embedding computing education into the social sciences demonstrates a promising model of broadening participation in computing and meeting the nation's increasing demand for interdisciplinary computing workers in the digital age.
Problem Solving and Creativity: Complementing Programming Education with Robotics Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Komm, Dennis; Regez, Adrian; Hauser, Urs; Gassner, Marco; Lütscher, Pascal; Puchegger, Rico; Kohn, Tobias With its direct feedback and the tangible machine, robotics is a strong motivator for engaging students in STEM fields, as evidenced by the popularity of competitions and events such as FIRST and Robo Games. However, in the context of K-12 computer science education, the potential of robotics seems as yet hardly tapped into. In an attempt to bridge the gap, we designed a Python library for robotics with Lego's EV3 robots to complement programming classes. We employed our library to teach secondary school students as part of an outreach activity. Our approach is built around open-ended tasks instead of narrow exercise statements. Although our activity was based on the EV3 Space Challenge Set, we encouraged the students at any time to pursue their own ideas and even their own challenges. While students had little problems in using Python to program their robots, we still found a series of misconceptions and observed that female students were more interested in following their own creative projects than in solving given challenges.
Investigating Challenges Faced by Learners with Visual Impairments Using Block-Based Programming/Hybrid Environments The 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility Mountapmbeme, Aboubakar; Ludi, Stephanie With an increase in the use of block-based programming environments in k-12 curriculum, the need for accessibility exists in order to serve all students. Accessible block-based systems are in their infancy. Such systems would provide students with visual impairments the opportunity to learn programming and take part in computational thinking activities using the same systems that are found appealing to most sighted learners. However, with the presence of these systems little is known about their long-term use in the educational milieu. As a result, we conducted a survey with twelve teachers of students with visual impairments to learn about the use of these systems in teaching their students and to understand the barriers that students face in the learning process. Our study reveals that only one block-based programming environment is common among teachers and that several challenges exist. These challenges range from limited learners’ preparedness through difficulties editing and navigating code, to ineffective system feedback.
Exploring Quantum Reversibility with Young Learners Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research Franklin, Diana; Palmer, Jen; Jang, Woorin; Lehman, Elizabeth M.; Marckwordt, Jasmine; Landsberg, Randall H.; Muller, Alexandria; Harlow, Danielle Quantum computing is poised to revolutionize some critical intractable computing problems; but to fully take advantage of this computation, computer scientists will need to learn to program in a new way, with new constraints. The challenge in developing a quantum computing curriculum for younger learners is that two dominant approaches, teaching via the underlying quantum physical phenomenon or the mathematical operations that emerge from those phenomenon, require extensive technical knowledge. Our goal is to extract some of the essential insights in the principles of quantum computing and present them in contexts that a broad audience can understand.In this study, we explore how to teach the concept of quantum reversibility. Our interdisciplinary science, science education, computer science education, and computer science team is co-creating quantum computing (QC) learning trajectories (LT), educational materials, and activities for young learners. We present a draft LT for reversibility, the materials that both influenced it and were influenced by it, as well as an analysis of student work and a revised LT. We find that for clear cases, many 8-9 year old students understand reversibility in ways that align with quantum computation. However, when there are less clear-cut cases, students show a level of sophistication in their argumentation that aligns with the rules of reversibility for quantum computing even when their decisions do not match. In particular, students did not utilize the idea of a closed system, analyzing the effects to every item in the system. This blurred the distinction between between reversing (undoing) an action, recycling to reproduce identical items with some of the same materials, or replacing used items with new ones. In addition, some students allowed for not restoring all aspects of the original items, just the ones critical to their core functionality. We then present a revised learning trajectory that incorporates these concepts.
Developing an Inclusive K-12 Outreach Model Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Nolan, Karen; Faherty, Roisin; Quille, Keith; Becker, Brett A.; Bergin, Susan This paper outlines the longitudinal development of a K-12 outreach model, to promote Computer Science in Ireland. Over a three-year period, it has been piloted to just under 9700 K-12 students from almost every county in Ireland. The model consists of a two-hour camp that introduces students to a range of Computer Science topics: addressing computing perceptions, introduction to coding and exploration of computational thinking. The model incorporates on-site school delivery and is available at no cost to any interested school across Ireland. The pilot study so far collected over 3400 surveys (pre- and post- outreach delivery). Schools from all over Ireland self-selected to participate, including male only, female only and mixed schools. The no-cost nature of the model meant schools deemed "disadvantaged", to private fee-paying schools participated. Initial findings are very positive, including the balance of male and female participants, where in the 2017-18 academic year it was 56:44 and in 2019-20 (to date), it is 35:65 respectively. Once the model is validated and tweaked (based on survey data), the model will be published (open access) for other institutions to implement the model locally. In addition, the authors intend to link schools (that the team have worked with over the three years) with local institutions, thus developing a sustainable ecosystem for the program to continue. This paper describes the model structure and outlines early findings.
Youth Civic Engagement through Computing: Cases and Implications ACM Inroads Yu, Junnan; Ruppert, Janet; Roque, Ricarose; Kirshner, Ben
Understanding Students' Computational Perspectives and Figured Worlds of Computing Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research Perez, Melissa Efforts expanding computing for all continue in earnest across the U.S.. Many are short-term in nature; while it is generally known that short-term engagement in computing before college does not necessarily result in students going into computing majors or careers, there may be other outcomes from these programs that may be equally important or meaningful but currently missed. To examine this, I draw from the theoretical framework of figured worlds to see what former participants perspectives on computing are and how short-term computing education programs affect their participation in computing.
Intelligent Tutoring Systems Approach to Introductory Programming Courses Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Figueiredo, José; García-Peñalvo, Francisco José Programming is difficult and requires a lot of work and dedication from the students and teachers. Programming is part of the curriculum of many courses, but especially in computer science, and most teaching and learning is problematic. Despite all the efforts of the researchers, it seems to be difficult to find an effective method of teaching that is suitable for all students. This paper describes a set of possible instructional strategies for teaching and learning and its application to an introductory programming course. The goal of utilizing a smart learning system was to increase student scores, pass rate, and increase efficiency for both students and teachers. The set of instructional strategies based on technology was implemented in an introductory programming course over several academic years. Data were collected and the results are analyzed. The results show that there are significant improvements in the grade distributions, the pass/fail rate, in the interest and participation of the students in the different activities developed throughout the course, greater motivation and passion in solving problems, and the more efficient use of teacher time and effort.
Inferring Creativity in Visual Programming Environments Proceedings of the Seventh ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale Kovalkov, Anastasia; Segal, Avi; Gal, Kobi This paper explores the use of data analytics for identifying creativity in visual programming. Visual programming environments are increasingly included in the schools curriculum. Their potential for promoting creative thinking in students is an important factor in their adoption. However, there does not exist a standard approach for detecting creativity in students' programming behavior, and analyzing programs manually requires human expertise and is time consuming. This work provides a computational tool for measuring creativity in visual programming that combines theory from the literature with data mining approaches. It adapts classical dimensions of creative processes to our setting, and considers new aspects such as visual elements of the visual programming projects. We apply our approach to the Scratch programming environment, measuring the creativity score of hundreds of projects. We show a preliminary comparison between our metrics and teacher ratings.
Exploring Middle School Students' Reflections on the Infusion of CS into Science Classrooms Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Celepkolu, Mehmet; Fussell, David Austin; Galdo, Aisha Chung; Boyer, Kristy Elizabeth; Wiebe, Eric; Mott, Bradford W.; Lester, James C. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in teaching CS in the context of other disciplines such as science. However, learning CS in an interdisciplinary context may be particularly challenging for students. An important goal for CS education researchers is to develop a deep understanding of the student experience when integrating CS into science classrooms in K-12. This paper presents the results of a mixed-methods study in which 75 middle school students engaged in a series of computationally rich science activities by creating simulations and models in a block-based programming language. After two semesters, students reported their experiences on in-class computer science activities through reflection essays. The quantitative results show that both experienced and novice students increased their CS knowledge significantly after several weeks, and a majority of students (72%) had positive sentiment toward the integration of CS into their science class. Deeper qualitative analysis of students' reflections revealed positive themes centered around the visualization and gamification of science concepts, the hands-on nature of the coding activities, and showing science from a different angle. On the other hand, students expressed negative sentiments on weaknesses in the activity design, lack of CS/science background/interest, and failing to make connections between CS and science concepts. These findings inform efforts to infuse CS education into different disciplines and reveal patterns that may foster success of K-12 classroom implementations.
Motivational Factors in the Insertion of Digital Skills in Teaching Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Infante-Moro, Alfonso; Infante-Moro, Juan C.; Gallardo-Pérez, Julia Digital competences play an important role in today's society and in the labor market, which must be reflected in the teaching of future workers and in their training programs. For this, a bibliographic study is carried out that allows obtaining a list of motivational factors that can affect teachers when accepting and deciding to insert digital skills in teaching and in their training programs, and a causal study of university professors experts in digital skills that a llows confirming the relationship of these factors in this decision and classifying them by their relevance. The list obtained consists of the following motivational factors: quality management, available information, external conditioning, trust, perceived compatibility, perceived usefulness, attitude and intention, and the most decisive factors in this entire process are those that affect the character complementary to these digital competences in the subjects where they are to be implemented (perceived compatibility, perceived usefulness and available information).
Adaptation of the System Usability Scale for User Testing with Children Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Putnam, Cynthia; Puthenmadom, Melisa; Cuerdo, Marjorie Ann; Wang, Wanshu; Paul, Nathaniel In this paper, we describe a pilot study in which we adapted and tested the System Usability Scales (SUS) for children between ages of 7-11. We began the study with interviews with four elementary school teachers in which we asked their help with modifying the SUS usability statements for children. We then tested those questionnaire statements with 30 children after they completed puzzles in mobile apps; we assessed the statements' understandability, dimensionality, construct validity and reliability. Our adapted SUS statements were mostly understandable. A Principal Component Analysis resulted in a four-Component model; two of those components were established as reliable. However, we were only able to support construct validity for four questionnaire statements (and none of the four Components). This pilot study contributes to the knowledgebase of user testing with children.
A Conceptual Model for Personalized Learning Based on Educational Robots Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Ferjaoui, Dhekra; Cheniti Belcadhi, Lilia Over a previous couple of years, Distance learning has successfully overcome the shortcomings of traditional methods of teaching and learning, likewise increases student interaction and diversities of opinion, online instructors could also be from any location across the world. So students have the chance to settle on a learning strategy most suited to their abilities, while education is streamlined to satisfy the requirements of the individual in question. Due to the on-going technological change, we are witnessing, Robots are getting an integral component of our society and have great potential in being utilized as an academic technology by providing students with a highly interactive and hands-on learning experience. Indeed, Robotics promises to inspire a replacement generation of learning. With the aim of understanding how students can use robots to review, we created and implemented a learning scenario through an ontological conceptual Model for Personalized Learning supported Educational Robots. This model enables us to supply inferences over learning data and supply personalized learning resources, adapted to the progress of the scholar within the learning process.
Framing Ethical Considerations on Artificial Intelligence Bias Applied to Voice Interfaces Eighth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality Pedrero Esteban, Luis Miguel; Pérez Escoda, Ana; Pedrero Esteban, Alberto Digital ecosystem has transformed our lives in a connected living through multiple networks and technologies, five billion individuals in the world have access to the internet. The interaction with these technologies not only provides the immediate supply of any virtual content but increases the possibilities of personalization through artificial intelligence (AI). AI in all of its developments, is advancing faster than the capacity of institutions and organizations to provide legal and deontological responses. Finding solutions to its implications in new ecosystems where technology learns from human routines and interacts with users is a challenge that must be addressed from the academic, political and business fields. Technology advances show that algorithms and automatization have become omnipresent in contemporary times, increasingly determining the nature of the contents that reach the users. This work offers an interpretative descriptive framework based on two main objectives: firstly, describing the evolution of voice assistants as tools for the automated personalization of information contents —about which each individual becomes aware of his environment and makes decisions; and secondly, highlighting the ethical demands on AI when personalizing contents in voice interfaces. In result the study presented offers an open debate to the increasing concern that algorithms can actually influence people, replicating or amplifying existing biases, bringing a wide and current field for academics to explore.
Drag and Drop Programming Experiences and Equity: Analysis of a Large Scale Middle School Student Motivation Survey Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Bush, Jeffrey B.; Gilmore, Monica R.; Miller, Susan B. Drag and drop programming languages have been promoted for broadening participation and increasing motivation for middle grade students in computer science (CS), yet their impact on motivation and the implications for equity are not well documented. This raises questions about potential issues of equity. Despite considerations to increase participation and diversity, these tools have not been evaluated as to how they provide more equitable outcomes regarding student motivation in CS. This study analyzes data from a survey (n=9,573) to investigate middle school student motivation in CS when considering previous experiences with drag and drop programming. Student responses to motivational items are categorized into four factors based on exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Multiple regression interaction analysis shows that previous experience is associated with increases (p<0.01) in three motivational factors: general academic and computer use confidence, programming confidence, and interest in future CS courses. These associations hold regardless of race and gender although they are lower for demographics underrepresented in CS, female and/or non-White and non-Asian students. Previous experience was also associated with an increase in interest in the current course for White and Asian male students and a decrease for female underrepresented minority students. While it appears that drag and drop programming efforts could help increase future interest and confidence for all students, it does so to differing degrees for different demographics. This suggests that these initiatives are not addressing issues of equity since groups overrepresented in CS still report higher gains than underrepresented demographics after early programming experiences.
How Do We Design for Concreteness Fading? Survey, General Framework, and Design Dimensions Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference Suh, Sangho; Lee, Martinet; Law, Edith Over the years, concreteness fading has been used to design learning materials and educational tools for children. Unfortunately, it remains an underspecified technique without a clear guideline on how to design it, resulting in varying forms of concreteness fading and conflicting results due to the design inconsistencies. To our knowledge, no research has analyzed the existing designs of concreteness fading implemented across different settings, formulated a generic framework, or explained the design dimensions of the technique. This poses several problems for future research, such as lack of a shared vocabulary for reference and comparison, as well as barriers to researchers interested in learning and using this technique. Thus, to inform and support future research, we conducted a systematic literature review and contribute: (1) an overview of the technique, (2) a discussion of various design dimensions and challenges, and (3) a synthesis of key findings about each dimension. We open source our dataset to invite other researchers to contribute to the corpus, supporting future research and discussion on concreteness fading.
How Important is Immersion for Learning in Computer Science Replugged Games? Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Dengel, Andreas By following the idea of not using computers at all, Computer Science Unplugged has set the course for many interactive, social, and hands-on activities dealing with concepts and problems of Computer Science Education. Through recent developments in immersive media, technologies like Virtual and Augmented Reality could enhance such activities or even enable new ones. When providing immersive educational media that induce a sense of presence in the virtual environment, the illusion of unmediated learning experience can be delivered. Hence, the concept of "Computer Science Replugged” can benefit from the affordances that Computer Science Unplugged thrives on while facilitating or enabling activities that might be impossible, dangerous, or expensive to carry out in reality. This paper presents three concepts from Computer Science Education that have been modeled as 3-D immersive educational virtual environments: components of a computer, asymmetric encryption/decryption, and finite state machines. To get a first impression of the effectiveness of these approaches and in order to determine the importance of the level of immersion for the learning process, a study with 78 participants was conducted in which the software was tested on different devices. All activities were found to be significantly effective with regards to the pre- and post-tests. When analyzing these results on the basis of comparing the least immersive setting (laptop) with the most immersive setting (head-mounted-display), the findings indicate different effects with effect sizes betweenβ = -.17 andβ = .41. This raises two questions: "Which topics from Computer Science Education can benefit from immersive technology?” and "What are the opportunities and challenges of the didactical design of Computer Science Replugged activities?” that have to be adressed in further research.