The Center for Learning Computational Thinking (CLCT) is established based on the ever-increasing interest in the term Computational Thinking (CT) for both societally and research-wise.
This interest relates not least to the development of research-based ways to support learning with and from CT. It is reflected in the rapidly growing prevalence of CT in the education sector, e.g., as a subject goal in The Danish Common Objectives developed by the Ministry of Education and the introduction of the subject Informatics as compulsory on HHX and elective courses on HTX and STX.
This spread makes it all the more essential to relate critically, reflectively, and pedagogically to CT and what CT can be used for in a learning context.
Computational thinking (CT)
CT can be defined as the cognitive processes involved in developing IT artifacts and programs to live in the world today. CT must be understood broadly so that critical consideration of the design and use of the IT artifacts is an integral part of their development process.
CT includes algorithmic thinking, the development of algorithmic models, computer visualizations, and programming. It also contains algorithmic thinking in contexts other than programming, e.g., analog algorithm construction and bodily anchored algorithmic interaction.
In the broadest sense, CT uses problem-solving processes to enable humans to find creative solutions to the significant social problems facing the world today.
Center for Learning Computational Thinking (CLCT)
At SDU, we see that CT is justified in the humanities and social sciences and the scientific, technical, and health fields. We have thus formed CLCT as a collaboration between:
- Department of Design and Communication (IDK) (Humanities)
- Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (IMADA) (Science) and
- Department for the Study of Culture (IKV)
In this collaboration, we bring many angles into searching for good, research-based ways to involve CT at all education levels. To strengthen this focus, CLCT also has close cooperation with UC Syd. We also collaborate with It-vest and have several ongoing projects with them and the collaborating universities.
It-vest and CT
It-vest is a collaboration between universities in western Denmark. Involved are SDU, AU and AAU. The three universities offer a long list of different it-educations and It-vest's most significant focus points are: Master of Science educations (cand. it), Master in IT further education, and working with CT and informatics as a fundamental element on all educational levels.
It-vest is a frontrunner for Computational Thinking with its director Michael E. Caspersen, who specializes in the field. The CLCT collaborates closely with It-vest in terms of projects, publications, funding etc.
It-vest produces a podcast series about computational thinking, which we highly recommend.
The purpose of the Center is to:
- Conduct research in Computational Thinking (CT). There is a particular focus on the development of CT didactics and the involvement of the "computational things" in support of learning with and from CT
- Develop courses for further education in CT for the surrounding community through workshops, seminars, and out-of-house activities and collaboration with local and national companies. The courses are initially aimed at teachers at several levels; in primary school, in upper secondary schools and at the university
- Help ensure that CT is integrated into the programs in general at SDU, preferably through specially organized further education courses for researchers and teachers, with the inclusion of analog and digital forms of CT following the professional needs
- Work to raise the general level of competence in society within CT
The four purposes are all perceived as integrated tasks.