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Title: Anchor Code: Modularity as Evidence for Conceptual Learning and Computational Practices of Students Using a Code-First Environment
In response to increasing calls to include computational thinking (CT) in K-12 education, some researchers have argued for integrating science learning and CT. In that vein, this paper investigates conceptual learning and computational practices through the use of a code-first modeling environment called Frog Pond in a middle school classroom. The environment was designed to enable learners to explore models of evolutionary shifts through domain-specific agent-based visual programming. It was implemented as a curricular unit in seventh grade science class. We analyzed video and log data of two contrasting student pairs. This paper presents one of our findings: Development of modular core functional code-units or what we call anchor code. Anchor code is a body of code that creates a stable base from which further explorations take place. We argue that anchor code is evidence for conceptual learning and computational practices.
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Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)
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National Science Foundation
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