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Bodygramming. Embodying the computational behavior as a collective effort


During their education, the future industrial and interaction designers are increasingly faced with constructing fully or partially functional physical prototypes. As physical computing involves interaction with the physical world through sensors and actuators, combined with abstract data-memory, these pose additional difficulties for learning. While flowcharts have been useful for learning programming, we posit that using flowcharts alone are not expressive enough to efficiently help learn physical computing. In this paper we present Bodygramming, to help the design-students understand how a programs function, from the perspective of the program in a physical computing device. In essence, Bodygramming means acting out the behavior of a program step-by-step, by following the instructions written on magnetic flowchart cards. The acting enables the experience of how the asynchronous activities are related to the behavior of the code, in a relatable human space. Bodygramming suggests an alternative way to understand basic programming concepts and abstractions.

Read more about Bodygramming in chapter 11 in the Anthology - Computational Thinking - Teoretiske, empiriske og didaktiske perspektiver (Danish only).