Center for Learning Computational Thinking (CLCT) was established as a response to the growing societal and research interest in Computational Thinking (CT).
Central to this interest is the need for developing research-based ways of utilizing CT to support learning. The need is underscored by the rapidly growing implementation of CT in the educational system, e.g., with the subject, Information Technology as compulsory in the Upper Secondary Education Programmes (HHX, HTX and STX).
The widespread implementation makes it all the more necessary to develop CT critically, reflectively, and pedagogically with a focus on what CT can be used for in a learning context.
At CLCT, we define CT as the cognitive processes involved in developing IT artifacts and programs to live in the world today. We understand this in a broad sense, so that critical reflection on the design and use of IT artifacts is an integral part of their development.
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 its broadest sense, we view CT as a problem-solving process aimed at finding creative solutions to the significant societal problems facing the world today.
Collaboration and interdisciplinarity
At SDU, we see an important place for CT in the humanities and social sciences, as well as within health and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Center for Learning Computational Thinking is established as a collaboration between:
- Department of Media, Design, Education and Cognition (Humanities)
- Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (IMADA) (Science) and
In our collaboration, we synthesize many different perspectives in the pursuit of good, research-based ways to involve CT at all educational levels. In further support of this aim, CLCT has a close collaboration with UC Syd. Several of our projects are carried out in collaboration with It-vest and the collaborating universities within It-vest.
It-vest and CT
It-vest is a collaboration between universities in western Denmark: 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 at 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 (Danish) about computational thinking, which we highly recommend.
The purpose of the Center is to:
- Conduct research in Computational Thinking (CT). We focus in particular on the development of CT didactics and the use of "computational things" in support of learning (with) CT.
- Develop professional development courses within CT by offering workshops, seminars, and out-of-house activities in collaboration with local and national companies and institutions.
- Contribute to the integration of CT into the educational programs at SDU, preferably through specially organized professional development courses for researchers and teachers, with the inclusion of analog and digital forms of CT aligned with the participants’ academic needs.
- Further the general level of competence within CT in society.
The four purposes are perceived as integrated and mutually supportive tasks.