Computational Thinking and other Emergent Practices in Student Reflections on Makerspace Activities

Virtual Paper ID: 56087
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    Jennifer Houchins
    North Carolina State University
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    Cansu Tatar
    North Carolina State University
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    Kevin Oliver
    North Carolina State University

Abstract: Assessing learning outcomes, particularly with respect to computational thinking, within informal learning environments such as makerspaces is often difficult since clear measures of these outcomes do not currently exist. Identifying how students convey the complex problem-solving skills they employ while engaging in makerspace projects may provide an avenue to establishing clear measures for assessing learning outcomes in this context. Therefore, this study employs a qualitative case study to develop a deeper understanding of how students’ video project documentation for makerspace projects conveys critical thinking and problem-solving skills, particularly those associated with computational thinking. It further seeks to identify how reflective prompts elicit aspects of computational thinking in students’ video project documentation. Findings suggest that students engaging in reflection through project documentation not only convey processes associated with computational thinking, but they also exhibit emerging themes that convey dispositions also associated with the practices of computational thinking.


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