Learning Computational Thinking Together: Lessons from a Collaborative 6th Grade Robotics Program

ID: 52246 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Gerald Ardito, Pace University, United States

Tuesday, March 27 3:40 PM-4:00 PM

Presider:
Laurie O. Campbell, University of Central Florida, United States

This study investigated the development of collaborative computational thinking in sixth grade students through their participation in a three-week robotics program. A diverse cohort of forty-nine sixth graders participated in a three-week robotics program using LEGO robots. The program consisted of students first learning the basics of constructing and programming their LEGO robots and then participating in two challenges: a hallway race challenge and a dance-off challenge. Throughout the program students kept detailed daily journals which captured their experiences in real time and allowed them to go back and revise, reflect, and identify strength and weaknesses. Analysis of the student journals demonstrated progress in the development of these students’ computational thinking and a correlation between successful collaborative work and a deeper understanding and proficiency in the application of key components of computational thinking. These findings have broad implications for future research and practice.

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