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  1. In successful collaborative paradigms such as pair programming, students engage in productive dialogue and work to resolve con- flicts as they arise. However, little is known about how elementary students engage in collaborative dialogue for computer science learning. Early findings indicate that these younger students may struggle to manage conflicts that arise during pair programming. To investigate collaborative dialogue that elementary learners use and the conflicts that they encounter, we analyzed videos of twelve pairs of fifth grade students completing pair programming activities. We developed a novel annotation scheme with a focus on collab- orative dialogue and conflicts. We foundmore »that student pairs used best-practice dialogue moves such as self-explanation, question generation, uptake, and praise in less than 23% of their dialogue. High-conflict pairs antagonized their partner, whereas this behav- ior was not observed with low-conflict pairs. We also observed more praise (e.g., “We did it!”) and uptake (e.g., “Yeah and. . . ”) in low-conflict pairs than high-conflict pairs. All pairs exhibited some conflicts about the task, but high-conflict pairs also engaged in conflicts about control of the computer and their partner’s con- tributions. The results presented here provide insights into the collaborative process of young learners in CS problem solving, and also hold implications for educators as we move toward building learning environments that support students in this context.« less
  2. Background and Context: Researchers and practitioners have begun to incorporate collaboration in programming because of its reported instructional and professional benefits. However, younger students need guidance on how to collaborate in environments that require substantial interpersonal interaction and negotiation. Previous research indicates that feedback fosters students’ productive collaboration. Objective: This study employs an intervention to explore the role instructor-directed feedback plays on elementary students’ dyadic collaboration during 2-computer pair programming. Method: We used a multi-study design, collecting video data on students’ dyadic collaboration. Study 1 qualitatively explored dyadic collaboration by coding video transcripts of four dyads which guided the designmore »of Study 2 that examined conversation of six dyads using MANOVA and non-parametric tests. Findings: Result from Study 2 showed that students receiving feed- back used productive conversation categories significantly higher than the control condition in the sample group considered. Results are discussed in terms of group differences in specific conversation categories. Implications: Our study highlights ways to support students in pair programming contexts so that they can maximize the benefits afforded through these experiences.« less
  3. There is a currently a shortage of computer science professionals and this shortage is projected to continue into the foreseeable future as not enough students are selecting computer science majors. Researchers and policy-makers agree that development of this career pipeline starts in elementary school. Our study examined which collaborative programming setup, pair programming (two students collaborate on one computer) or side-by-side programming (two students collaborate on the same program from two computers), fifth-grade students preferred. We also sought to understand why students preferred one method over the other and explored ideas on how to effectively design a collaborative programming environmentmore »for this age group. Our study had participants first engage in five instructional days, alternating between pair and side-by-side programming, and then conducted focus groups. We found that students overwhelmingly preferred side-by-side programming. We explain this using self-determination theory which states that behavior is motivated by three psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and psychological relatedness which side-by-side programming was better able to meet.« less