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Computational Thinking Education

Authors:
  • The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Abstract

This book is an edited volume with a specific focus on computational thinking (CT) education. A group of world-renowned scholars and contributed the chapters researchers, who pioneered research on CT education. To enable readers with various interests to advance their knowledge in this fresh yet important field, this book covers sub-themes that will be of interest to academics and educators, school teachers, policymakers, and other readers. The sub-themes include CT and tool development, student competency and assessment, CT and programming education in K-12, CT in K-12 STEM education and non-formal learning, teacher and mentor development in K-12 education, and CT in educational policy and implementation. School teachers will be particularly interested in chapters in K-12 and K-12 STEM education; educators and academics will be interested in chapters in CT and tool development, student competency and assessment, and teacher and mentor development; policymakers will be particularly interested in chapters in policy and implementation; and readers, in general, will be interested in chapters in all sub-themes.
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... Most so ware systems called learning systems (for example, Moodle, Claroline, Dokeos, ATutor [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]) do not support the full learning cycle (methodologies) -they are just applications that provide access to texts, issue tests, and check student's memory ability. e best solution is to use various methods of adaptive learning in the learning processes, which are focused on a speci c subject of study and on the individual characteristics of each student. ...
... 9. Removing the complementation sign-using the duality law. 10. Inclusion of the complementation sign-using the duality law. ...
Article
The issues of building an automated learning system “Sets” which will allow students to master one of the important topics of the discipline “Discrete Mathematics” and to develop logical and mathematical thinking in this direction are studied. The corresponding topic of the 1st part of the project includes materials related to the concept of a set, operations on sets, algebra of sets, proofs of statements for sets, and the derivation of formulas for the number of set elements. The system is based on a construction of the statements proof editor for a set and of the formulas derivation editor for the number of set elements, both editors are to be used for teaching. The first of these allows students to split the original statement into a number of simpler statements, taken together equivalent to the original statement, to choose a method of proving each simple statement and to conduct their step-by-step proof. The second editor allows (using the inclusion-exclusion principle and the formula of the number of complement elements) to derive a step-by-step formula for the number of set elements through the specified numbers of elements for sets from which the resulting set is constructed. An important part of the system is to monitor the correctness of all actions of students, and on this basis the entire learning system is developed. The logical supervision over the correctness of the selected action in the first editor is performed by a Boolean function created by the system and corresponding to this action and by checking it for identical truth. In the second editor, invariants such as characteristic strings of the set and of its number of elements are used for verification. The rest of the system is related to learning of set algebra and to preparation to editors usage. The main focus here is on the learning strategy in which testing the understanding of the learned material is rather rigorous and eliminating the random choice of answers. The division of the material into sections with verification of the success of teaching not only by tests, but also by exercises and tasks, allows students to master the complex logical and mathematical techniques of proving statements for sets and derivation of formulas for the number of set elements.
... The adoption of Computational Thinking (CT) ideas and programming teaching in K-12 schools can be found in national and international programs and initiatives (Barr & Stephenson, 2011;Guzdial, 2008;Haseski, Ilic & Tugtekin, 2018;Kong & Abelson, 2019;Royal Society, 2012). ...
Article
The participatory view of learning emphasises students' identity construction. However, identity research in the context of programming education to cultivate students' computational thinking is scarce. In this study, an instrument of computational identity with components of engagement, imagination and affiliation, was developed and validated. Convenience sampling was used to select 1066 senior primary school students studying programming to respond to the instrument, and to a programming empowerment instrument developed previously with components of meaningfulness, self‐efficacy and impact. The two instruments' factor structure was confirmed to have acceptable discriminant validity and support gender invariance. There was a positive relationship between programming empowerment and computational identity. Specifically, students' perceived meaningfulness and self‐efficacy of programming related to all aspects of computational identity. The perceived impact of programming is related only to the imaginative aspect of computational identity. The establishment of the instrument enables researchers to investigate further factors related to students' computational identity development. The results also indicate that the programming curriculum should be carefully designed so that students can realise the meaning of the activities and foster their programming self‐efficacy. This, in turn, is critical to enable these primary school students to participate in and become a member of the digital community. Practitioner notes What is already known about this topic Cultivating students' computational thinking (CT) has become an educational goal in various countries around the world. It is necessary to develop appropriate tools to assess students' CT development. Founded on a participatory view of learning, identity has been employed in different subject areas to assess students' development, but identity research in CT is scarce. What this paper adds An instrument of computational identity with components of engagement, imagination and affiliation is developed and validated with a sample of senior primary students. This study shows the importance of empowerment in developing primary students' computational identity. Students' perceived meaningfulness of programming and self‐efficacy relate to all aspects of identity, but the impact of programming only relates to the imaginative aspect of identity. Implications for practice and/or policy The curriculum for CT should be designed carefully to foster the development of students' computational identity. The curriculum should allow students to see the meaning of programming activities and how young people can make an impact by means of CT. The programming tasks should be designed at an optimal level of difficulty so that students' self‐efficacy can be fostered. What is already known about this topic Cultivating students' computational thinking (CT) has become an educational goal in various countries around the world. It is necessary to develop appropriate tools to assess students' CT development. Founded on a participatory view of learning, identity has been employed in different subject areas to assess students' development, but identity research in CT is scarce. What this paper adds An instrument of computational identity with components of engagement, imagination and affiliation is developed and validated with a sample of senior primary students. This study shows the importance of empowerment in developing primary students' computational identity. Students' perceived meaningfulness of programming and self‐efficacy relate to all aspects of identity, but the impact of programming only relates to the imaginative aspect of identity. Implications for practice and/or policy The curriculum for CT should be designed carefully to foster the development of students' computational identity. The curriculum should allow students to see the meaning of programming activities and how young people can make an impact by means of CT. The programming tasks should be designed at an optimal level of difficulty so that students' self‐efficacy can be fostered.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Computational Thinking (CT) is considered a necessary 21st-century competence that should be introduced to school education as a vital ingredient. However, the lack of a consensual definition of CT and the confusion with other similar terms made it a big challenge for researchers and practitioners to understand this concept. The purpose of this work-in-progress (WIP) is to identify and compare the existing definitions of CT proposed by various members of the education or research community, and ultimately to give educators and researchers suggestions on understanding this concept for particular purposes or situations. We conducted a systematic review of the definitions of CT from the source of academic articles and categorized the definitions based on their approaches, dimensions, and contexts. Forty-one unique and original concepts were extracted from the search. Results indicate that the existing definitions of CT were mostly formulated 1) with a prototype approach, 2) for the generic purpose of use, 3) in the context of K-12 education, 4) based on the subject of Computer Science. These results provide sufficient granularity to allow us to come up with suggestions on how to choose appropriate and pragmatic CT definitions.
Article
Background & Context: We describe the rationale, design, and initial validation of computational thinking (CT) assessments to pair with curricular lessons that integrate fractions and CT. Objective: We used cognitive models of CT (learning trajectories; LTs) to design assessments and obtained evidence to support a validity argument Method: We used the LTs and evidence-centered design to develop assessments that 144 Grade 3 and Grade 4 elementary students completed following the integrated instruction. We analyzed data using multiple psychometric approaches. Findings: The design approach and data analysis suggest that the assessments are well-suited to evaluate students’ CT knowledge, skills and abilities across multiple LTs. Implications: We show how to use LTs to design assessments that can yield valid inferences about students’ CT competencies; these methods can be adopted and extended by others to create additional assessments that can advance computer science education.
Chapter
This volume discusses the challenges posed by digitalisation in the field of education from different professional perspectives. Authors from various disciplines analyse general theoretical questions, present current empirical findings, discuss didactic models and projects, and consider the use of digital media in tertiary education. In addition, they present specific projects from educational practice. With contributions by Alessandro Barberi, Gerhard Brandhofer, Josef Buchner, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner, Nicole Duller, Walter Fikisz, Sonja Gabriel, Barbara Getto, Nina Grünberger, Elke Höfler, Fares Kayali, Michael Kerres, Philipp Leitner, Peter Micheuz, Marlene Miglbauer, Thomas Nárosy, Daniel Otto, Alexander Pfeiffer, Claudia Schreiner, Carmen Sippl, Elke Szalai, Caroline Roth-Ebner, Karin Tengler, Manfred Tetz, Christine W. Trültzsch-Wijnen, Thomas Wernbacher, Christian Wiesner
Thesis
Full-text available
3D animation is taking an ever increasing role in the development of the media and digital artefacts that children consume. This demands that children are equipped with the tools, skills and critical faculties to be able to create what they consume. Focusing on 3D animation as a means to be digitally creative, this thesis explores the formal learning pathways available through the school system in England, and the knowledge domains behind 3D animation, including research on computational thinking and multimodality. The goal was to understand the role of 3D animation in supporting the development of digital creativity. Three research questions were formulated: 1. What characterises the opportunities for learning 3D animation in the formal curriculum? 2. What are the affordances of 3D digital animation work for young people? 3. What possible connections are there between computational thinking and multimodality in the production of 3D digital animation? For research question 1, the national pupil database and open access government data were used to examine student choice of GCSE for computer science and media studies, as well as the attainment of students on these courses, considering the role of ethnicity, gender and poverty indicators. For research questions 2 and 3, students that participated in a 3D animation summer camp were interviewed about the reasons behind their subject choices and learning journeys in the camp. Results showed gender disparity in GCSEs and that opportunities for children to learn computing and media studies in formal settings have decreased substantially since 2013, with gender and socio-economic divides emerging. As digital media takes a tighter grip of everyday lived reality, formal pathways for digital creativity amongst young people appear to be narrowing. Additionally, it was found that young 3D animators had strong support networks. Financial support was necessary in many cases. The factors that impacted student choices of film signifiers involved a mix of hardware limitations interacting with software, time allowed for the work, skill levels of peers, and the often tacit expectations of the camp itself. The research showed that the affordances of 3D animation work for young people are highly dependent on their social circumstances, the limitations of the discourse inherent to curricula, the limitations of the software and those of the hardware used. It also showed that computational thinking concepts such as automation, abstraction and decomposition were seen to heavily influence components of multimodality theory. In conclusion, this thesis highlights concerns about the development of digital and media literacy through formal education, by providing the first major study of a 3D animation camp and demonstrating the importance of software and hardware in semiotic decision making. It argues that media concepts should be present in computing, and computing concepts present in media studies. This research is important because it informs curriculum changes and raises questions about the democratisation of digital media.
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