Programming is one of the most important aspects of a Computing course. Teaching programming is a challenging task due to a number of factors, ranging from lack of student problem solving skills to different teaching methods. This paper focuses on Maltese Computing teachers’ perspectives about the difficulties encountered when teaching programming to secondary school students in order to determine whether introducing programming to secondary school students through creating mobile-based games is an effective method to teach programming constructs. A resource pack consisting of various activities using MIT App Inventor 2 was created which incorporated constructivist approaches to teaching. This resource pack was reviewed by the teachers and their feedback was collected by means of a case study. The teachers agreed that developing mobile-based games would be highly stimulating to their students but there were uncertainties how this would affect students with different learning abilities and due to a general lack of computational thinking and problem-solving skills by most students.
This work presents a systematic review whose objective was to identify heuristics applicable to the evaluation of the usability of educational games. Heuristics are usability engineering methods that aim to detect problems in the use of a system during its development and / or when its interface is in interaction with the user. Therefore, applying heuristics is an essential part of developing digital educational games. Search sources were articles available in all the databases present in the Capes / MEC / Brazil periodicals portal, in the available languages. The descriptors adopted were "educational games", "heuristic" and "usability" in Boolean search in titles, abstracts and keywords, with AND operator, for publications starting in 2014. The inclusion criteria were: (a) articles with a clear description of the methodology used in the usability analysis; (b) studies presenting primary data and (c) articles whose focus corresponds to the investigated question. Two examiners conducted the searches in the databases and a third the evaluation and general review of the data. Initially, 93 articles were identified, of which 19 were repeated, 5 were literature reviews. Of the 69 that remained, 57 were elected as not eligible with only 12 selected for full studies, of which 6 entered the final review. With this review we can deduce that the field of heuristics and usability for educational games is still little explored, with few specific evaluations validated or in the process of validation, requiring greater investment in the area. Through this review, we found at least one heuristic that meets the usability evaluation of educational software: Game User Experience Satisfaction Scale (GUESS).
The European Commission Science Hub has been promoting Computational Thinking (CT) as an important 21st century skill or competence. However, "despite the high interest in developing computational thinking among schoolchildren and the large public and private investment in CT initiatives, there are a number of issues and challenges for the integration of CT in the school curricula". On the other hand, the Digital Competence (DC) Framework 2.0 (DigCom) is promoted in the same European Commission Science Hub portal. It shows that both topics have many things in common. Thus, there is the need of research on the relationship between CT and digital competence.
The goal of this paper is to analyse and discuss the relationship between DC and CT, and to help educators as well as educational policy makers to make informed decisions about how CT and DC can be included in their local institutions. We begin by defining DC and CT and then discuss the current state of both phenomena in education in multiple countries in Europe. By analysing official documents, we try to find the underlying commonness in both DC and CT, and discover all possible connections between them. Possible interconnections between the component groups of approaches are presented in Fig.
Programming is one of the basic subjects in most informatics, computer science mathematics and technical faculties' curricula. Integrated overview of the models for teaching programming, problems in teaching and suggested solutions were presented in this paper. Research covered current state of 1019 programming subjects in 715 study programmes at total of 218 faculties and 143 universities in 35 European countries that were analyzed. It was concluded that while most of the programmes highly support object-oriented paradigm of programming, introductory programming subjects are mainly based on imperative paradigm.
This work investigates the effect of computer use in the memory process in young and adults under the Perceptual and Memory experimental conditions. The memory condition involved the phases acquisition of information and recovery, on time intervals (2 min, 24 hours and 1 week) on situations of pre and post-test (before and after the participants took part on a Basic Computing course), in which the participants studied the map of Brazil during 7 minutes and the estimates of different areas of Brazilian states were performed according to the magnitude estimation method, without the presence of the map. On the Perceptual condition, the estimates were made in the presence of the Brazilian map. The study made possible to verify that the use of a computer, as a new activity enables a differentiation on the memory process in relation to the different experimental conditions proposed and to the time intervals used between acquisition, processing and information recovery, showing that the use of a computer as a pedagogical tool may promote the improvement of the memory process in academic activities.