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Title: Use, Modify, Create: Comparing Computational Thinking Lesson Progressions for STEM Classes
Computational Thinking (CT) is being infused into curricula in a variety of core K-12 STEM courses. As these topics are being introduced to students without prior programming experience and are potentially taught by instructors unfamiliar with programming and CT, appropriate lesson design might help support both students and teachers. “Use-Modify-Create" (UMC), a CT lesson progression, has students ease into CT topics by first “Using" a given artifact, “Modifying" an existing one, and then eventually “Creating" new ones. While studies have presented lessons adopting and adapting this progression and advocating for its use, few have focused on evaluating UMC’s pedagogical effectiveness and claims. We present a comparison study between two CT lesson progressions for middle school science classes. Students participated in a 4-day activity focused on developing an agent-based simulation in a block-based programming environment. While some classrooms had students develop code on days 2-4, others used a scaffolded lesson plan modeled after the UMC framework. Through analyzing student’s exit tickets, classroom observations, and teacher interviews, we illustrate differences in perception of assignment difficulty from both the students and teachers, as well as student perception of artifact “ownership" between conditions.
Authors:
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Award ID(s):
1837439 1640141
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10122993
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
395 to 401
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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