Analysis of linkages between an unplugged activity and the development of computational thinking

Chee Kit LOOI, Meng-Leong HOW, Longkai WU, Peter SEOW, Liu LIU

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44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Unplugged activities have been one approach to introduce computational thinking (CT) to students before any form of coding is involved. This paper reports on a study that examines the evaluation of the types of CT skills inculcated through an unplugged activity. Students in a grade 9 class were engaged in an unplugged activity on sorting before being asked to represent their understanding in the form of pseudo-English, flowchart or Python code. The assessment of CT skills comprises the aspects of decomposition, algorithmic design, generalization, abstraction and evaluation. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) was used to take a closer look at the unplugged CT activity and the subsequent artifact production. Such a QCA analysis can be used to inform a framework for designing instruction and tasks to target and teach certain types of CT knowledge in novice programmers, as well as for assessing an instruction package as to what CT knowledge is being covered. Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-279
JournalComputer Science Education
Volume28
Issue number3
Early online dateOct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Citation

Looi, C.-K., How, M.-L., Wu, L., Seow, P., & Liu, L. (2018). Analysis of linkages between an unplugged activity and the development of computational thinking. Computer Science Education, 28(3), 255-279. doi: 10.1080/08993408.2018.1533297

Keywords

  • Improving classroom teaching
  • Pedagogical issues
  • Post-secondary education
  • Programming and programming languages
  • Teaching/learning strategies

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