How different input and output modalities support coding as a problem-solving process for children

Kening ZHU, Xiaojuan MA, Ka Wai Gary WONG, John Man Ho HUEN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Using coding education to promote computational thinking and nurture problem-solving skills in children has become an emerging global trend. However, how different input and output modalities in coding tools affect coding as a problem-solving process remains unclear. Of interest are the advantages and disadvantages of graphical and tangible interfaces for teaching coding to children. We conducted four kids coding workshops to study how different input and output methods in coding affected the problem-solving process and class dynamics. Results revealed that graphical input could keep children focused on problem solving better than tangible input, but it was less provocative for class discussion. Tangible output supported better schema construction and casual reasoning and promoted more active class engagement than graphical output but offered less affordance for analogical comparison among problems. We also derived insights for designing new tools and teaching methods for kids coding. Copyright © 2016 the owner/author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IDC 2016: The 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages238-245
ISBN (Print)9781450343138
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Citation

Zhu, K., Ma, X., Wong, G. K. W., & Huen, J. M. H. (2016). How different input and output modalities support coding as a problem-solving process for children. In Proceedings of IDC 2016: The 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children. (pp. 238-245). New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Keywords

  • Graphical
  • Kids coding
  • Problem solving
  • Tangible