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International Journal of Engineering Education Vol. 32, No. 3(A), pp. 1–10, 2016
Printed in Great Britain
© 2016 TEMPUS Publications.
Exploration of Computational Thinking of Software
Engineering Novice Students Based on Solving
Computer Science Tasks
Vilnius University Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, 4 Akademijos Street, Vilnius LT-08663, Lithuania and Faculty
of Electronics and Informatics, University of Applied Sciences, 15 J. Jasinskio Street, LT-01111, Vilnius, Lithuania.
TATJANA JEVSIKOVA and VALENTINA DAGIENE˙
Vilnius University Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, 4 Akademijos Street, Vilnius LT-08663, Lithuania.
E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty of Electronics and Informatics, University of Applied Sciences, 15 J. Jasinskio Street, LT-01111, Vilnius,
During the recent years computational thinking has been actively promoted through the K-12
curriculum, higher education, contests, and many other initiatives. Computational thinking skills are
important for a further students’ educational and professional career. Our focus is on computational
thinking for software engineering novice students, a term meant to encompass a set of concepts
and thought processes that are helpful in formulating problems and their solutions. Annually
organized international challenge on Informatics and Computational Thinking ‘‘Bebras’’ has
developed many tasks to promote deep thinking skills in this area. It is important to motivate
students to solve various informatics or computer science tasks and evaluate their computational
thinking abilities. The paper presents a study conducted among first-year students of software
engineering, studying the structured programming course. As aninstrument to measure
computational thinking, a test of internationally approved and well-preselected tasks from the
‘‘Bebras’’ challenge has been suggested and validated. The correlation between the students’ test
results and the structured programming course results has been investigated. We conclude with a
discussion and future directions to enhance computational thinking skills of novice software
Keywords: computational thinking; Bebras challenge; computer science concepts; computer engineering
education; contest; novice programming students; novice software engineering students