Creativity development with problem-based digital making and block-based programming for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics learning in middle school contexts

Xiaojing WENG, Oi-Lam NG, Zhihao CUI, Suzannie LEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Creativity, one of the cornerstones of students’ 21st-century skills, is regarded as an important learning outcome of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education. Meanwhile, problem-based digital making (DM), which combines the child-friendly programming activities of DM with problem-solving elements, is an emerging instructional design to facilitate STEAM learning. This qualitative case study examines the implementation of a problem-based DM instructional program that used the block-based programming tool Scratch to cultivate the participants’ creativity. Fifty-four middle school students (aged 10–14 years) in Hong Kong participated in the program, which totaled 10 contact hours over five consecutive weeks. Through triangulating students’ DM artifacts, video recordings, field notes, and interviews, the researchers characterized the students’ creative expression, examined the role of problem-based DM in encouraging creative work, and investigated the use of Scratch for mediating student creativity. The results showed that problem-based DM activities fostered students’ creative expressions in the dimensions of novelty, utility, aesthetics, and authenticity. While Scratch mediated the way the students presented their solutions, it had limitations that hindered the students’ digital artifact construction. The findings provide theoretical insights for framing creativity and offer practical implications for the implementation of problem-based DM in K–12 contexts. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-328
JournalJournal of Educational Computing Research
Volume61
Issue number2
Early online dateJul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Citation

Weng, X., Ng, O.-L., Cui, Z., & Leung, S. (2023). Creativity development with problem-based digital making and block-based programming for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics learning in middle school contexts. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 61(2), 304-328. https://doi.org/10.1177/07356331221115661

Keywords

  • Creativity
  • Problem-based learning
  • Programming
  • Digital making
  • Scratch
  • Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education
  • Middle school

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