Despite the recent proliferation of research concerning integrating computational thinking (CT) into K-5th grade curriculum, there is little literature concerning how to evaluate the quality of CT integrated curricula, especially curricula integrating CT into language arts and social studies content areas. In this paper, we present a theoretically derived rubric for the evaluation of CT integrated curricula for grades K-5 across the curriculum (math, science, language arts, social studies). Our rubric is divided into two sections. The first section provides guidelines for identifying the integration type (disciplinary, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary). The second section presents six categories of evaluation that further subsume nine sub-categories. The principal categories of evaluation include the following: conceptual coherence, role of computational technology, assessment, use of multiple representations, play, and equity. We include the play category as an aspect of developmental appropriateness. Play is an important pedagogical approach for learning in the early grades. Our work takes place in the context of the Computer Science (CS) for All initiative in the United States which emphasizes the goal of improving racial and gender diversity in CS participation. Therefore, creating integrated lessons that address equity is important. Our paper describes rubric development from the theoretical perspectives thatmore »
Development of a Lean Computational Thinking Abilities Assessment for Middle Grades Students
The recognition of middle grades as a critical juncture in CS education has led to the widespread development of CS curricula and integration efforts. The goal of many of these interventions is to develop a set of underlying abilities that has been termed computational thinking (CT). This goal presents a key challenge for assessing student learning: we must identify assessment items associated with an emergent understanding of key cognitive abilities underlying CT that avoid specialized knowledge of specific programming languages. In this work we explore the psychometric properties of assessment items appropriate for use with middle grades (US grades 6-8; ages 11-13) students. We also investigate whether these items measure a single ability dimension. Finally, we strive to recommend a "lean" set of items that can be completed in a single 50-minute class period and have high face validity. The paper makes the following contributions: 1) adds to the literature related to the emerging construct of CT, and its relationship to the existing CTt and Bebras instruments, and 2) offers a research-based CT assessment instrument for use by both researchers and educators in the field.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 456 - 461
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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