High-Challenge and Low-Stakes: On Improving Elementary Students’ Self-Efficacy in Computing

ID: 52082 Type: Virtual Paper
  1. Karen Jin, University of New Hampshire, United States
  2. Diane Silva Pimentel, Brown University, United States

Self-efficacy refers to the belief in one’s ability to perform a task and to attain a goal It is a strong predictor of the level of motivation and persistency for a task, and of ultimate task performance A strong self-efficacy in computing, especially one that is established at an early age, contributes significantly to students’ motivations to continue work in the field One effective way of creating a strong sense of self-efficacy is to let students learn how to overcome difficulties through the experience of failures, but in a supportive and low risk setting We designed a High-Challenge and Low-Stakes principle that aims to help elementary-aged students establish an early computing self-efficacy Our approach is applied to a co-ed introductory computing program for 3rd-5th graders The qualitative and quantitative evaluation results indicate that the program is equally beneficial to students regardless of their gender in improving their computing knowledge and attitude

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