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Guided tinkering as a design for learning programming


How do you teach programming to students who are not interested in programming? The authors of chapter 10 in the book “Designing for Learning in a Networked World” develop a method of “guided tinkering”, by using Richard Ryan and Edward Deci’s motivation theory and the constructionist principles of Creative learning , developed by MIT professor Martin Resnick.,  

The method of “guided tinkering” consists of 7 principles, which help educators design for students’ learning of basic programming with a focus on supporting student motivation. Students who participated in a programming course following the guided tinkering design principles reported a positive attitude towards programming generally after they had taken the classes. The method also had a positive effect on the learning process and learning outcome, in terms of students’ understanding of and skills in programming a small asteroid game.

The chapter provides a theoretical discussion and two case studies to show how “Guided Tinkering” can be used in an educational context. 


You can read more about the method “Guided Tinkering” in the book “Designing for Learning in a Networked world – Edited by Nina Bonderup Dohn and available at Routledge