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Abstract: Given that pair programming has proved to be an effective pedagogical approach for teaching programming skills, it is now important to explore alternative collaborative configurations. One popular configuration is where dyads collaborate by sharing a single computer sitting side-by-side. However, prior research points to potential challenges for elementary students when sharing a single computer when collaborating. This prompted us to explore another configuration where dyads sit side by side but collaborate on a shared virtual platform with individual computers. We compared the discourse of students’ collaboration under these two settings. Results show that although there are no significant differences in the amount of collaborative talk between the two configurations, there is qualitative evidence of how differing affordances of two configurations shape collaborative elementary students’ practices.
“I Think We Should...”: Analyzing Elementary Students’ Collaborative Processes for Giving and Taking SuggestionsCollaboration plays an essential role in computer science. While there is growing recognition that learners of all ages can benefit from collaborative learning, little is known about how elementary age children engage in collaborative problem solving in computer science. This paper reports on the analysis of a dataset of elementary students collaborating on a programming project. We found that children tend to make several different types of suggestions. In turn, their partners address those suggestions in different ways such as by implementing them directly in code or by replying through dialogue. We observe that students regularly accept or reject suggestions without explanation or explicit acknowledgement and that it is often unclear whether they understand the substance of the suggestion. These behaviors may inhibit the development of a shared understanding between the partners and limit the value of the collaborative process. These results can inform instructional practice and the development of new adaptive tools that facilitate productive collaborative problem solving in computer science.