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An empirical study of the use of Computational Thinking in an interdisciplinary project course

21-09-2020

This ongoing small-scale empirical study of the use of Computational Thinking (CT) across different learning settings in an interdisciplinary project course where students learn coding and information technological implementation of algorithms as part of system design in relation to group based project work within the field of humanities and/or social science.
The study primarily aims to examine how the students’ CT competences – such as problem-solving competences, coding, and information technological implementation of algorithms – are transferred or transformed from other concurrent or previous courses to this broader project focus. It is important to note that
the projects were not solely focused on programmatic problem solving and application development, but also on underlying theoretical considerations regarding pedagogical and persuasive design.

The particular study programme had a special focus on experience- and learning-technology.

All student project groups were to develop a theoretically supported and technologically realised design of an interactive web-based social campaign directed at children and young people.

This empirical study was conducted with an emphasis on five semi-structured group interviews carried out with all five project-groups shortly before the students’ deadline for handing in their project work. Two classroom observations were also conducted in relation to two project presentation/feedback sessions – respectively, at time of project inception and just prior to project completion. The groups’ final products, exam papers, as well as portfolio assignments made by students during the semester are used to qualify and nuance statements made by students in interviews, as well as provide additional context for and insight into their transfer or transformation of CT competences in regards to different process-oriented aspects and stages of their project work.

 

For further information regarding the study, contact Jesper Jensen:  jesjep@sdu.dk