Computational Thinking Showcase: Computing Concepts Across Curriculum • PI: Vicki Allan email@example.com • Chad Manochad.firstname.lastname@example.org • Donald Cooleydonald.email@example.com
Why do we start out with programming? Often we hope students will • explore algorithms • understand concepts • make associations • think about design • consider efficiency • get excited with the possibilities • But is it 95% “tedious” for 5% “ah ha”?
More than “just programming” • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. • If you keep doing what you've been doing you'll keep getting what you've been getting.
Idea • Interactive Learning Module ILM
Discussion points • What is corresponding graph? What is an edge? What is a node?
Why do computer scientists like graphs? • How do we use graphs to model problems? • Can you think of a problem that is appropriate for a graph?
Collaboration Try to design a map that requires five different colors. • Students loved trying it – especially when we told them it wasn’t possible. • Not easy to check. • Better if they could copy their design (so multiple attempts to color are possible) • Have them design their map via the computer (to get computer verification) or help with coloring.
Teachers • Liked the idea of using technology to teach technology. • Designed ILMs to meet curriculum guidelines • Customize existing ILMs • csilm becomes the glue to put various material in a single activity • Create ILMs from existing internet resources
Discoveries • Students can go at their own rate – an advantage and a disadvantage • Allows one-on-one time with someone who is struggling • Teacher presentation is important • context of activity (5-10 minutes), • explanation of the main activity (the lead-in) (5-7 minutes), • transition to main activity that includes instructions (2-3 minutes), • main task (20-25 minutes), and • review of activity (3-4 minutes) • survey (3 minutes)
Teachers… • Excellent insight as to what would work • Reading instructions • State mandates • Produce this output rather than follow these steps • What is computer science – different for each • Other requests • Liked the ability to pair questions with software and step through stages. • Want all software as an ILM • Automatic grading of responses
Lessons Learned • The “community” we created of college professors with K-12 teachers and the teachers with each other was extremely valuable. • Being able to compensate teachers for participation is a huge advantage. With everything that requires their attention, paid time gives them a reason/resources to select this project.
Results(116 middle schoolers) Which way would you prefer to learn new material: • ILM 47% • Reading 29% • Lecture 15% • Written homework 9% Well liked – but discovery learning is different
What made the activity uninteresting? • 48% nothing • 11% reading • 7% taking the survey • 7 % lecture • 6% everything • memorizing, homework, easy, boring, long
How well did the exercise help you to learn the material? • Extremely well 33% • Quite well 32% • OK 29% • Not very well 3% • Not at all 3%
Computational Thinking Goals • closes the gap between what is learned in theory and its use • improves time-on-task and increases motivation even after failure • private - removes stigma of failure • provides a scaffolding for learning, giving cues, hints, and partial solutions • personalizes learning so that students can control the pace and the topics they pursue • exhibits infinite patience and provides a self-regulated approach to learning
Methods • We create a community to plan and implement an exciting first exposure to computer science. • We create a set of Interactive Learning Modules which capture interesting computer science problems and challenge users to think creatively. • We foster the use of collaboration-based experiences throughout the computer science curriculum.