The effectiveness of partial pair programming on elementary school students’ computational thinking skills and self-efficacy

Xuefeng WEI, Lin LIN, Nanxi MENG, Wei TAN, Siu Cheung KONG, KINSHUK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Computational thinking (CT) skills are becoming essential in all aspects of work and life, and CT has become part of the K-12 curriculum around the world. Yet, more research is needed to better understand how to help elementary school students acquire CT skills effectively. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of partial pair programming (PPP) on elementary school students' CT skills and self-efficacy (SE). The study included four 4th grade classes, with a total of 171 students, who were taking the course entitled “Computational Thinking with Scratch” with the same teacher for one semester. Two classes (84 students) were in the Experimental Group (EG, 44 boys and 40 girls) while two other classes (87 students) were in the Control Group (CG, 45 boys and 42 girls). The students in the EG were paired up for the programming assignments while the students in the CG did the assignments on their own. The results showed that the students in the EG improved their CT skills and SE more significantly than those in the CG group. There was a low correlation between CT and SE in the post-test of both groups. The interviews with the teacher and the students afterwards provided insights in understanding the results. The findings suggest that in K-12 programming teachers could use PPP as an effective approach to improve students’ CT skills, programming SE, and beyond. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104023
JournalComputers & Education
Volume160
Early online date02 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 02 Oct 2020

Citation

Wei, X., Lin, L., Meng, N., Tan, W., Kong, S.-C., & Kinshuk (2021). The effectiveness of partial pair programming on elementary school students’ computational thinking skills and self-efficacy. Computers & Education, 160. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2020.104023

Keywords

  • Elementary education
  • Classroom teaching
  • Computational thinking
  • Partial pair programming
  • Self-efficacy
  • Pair collaborative learning

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