The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of unplugged coding activities carried out with middle school students on their computational thinking skills. This study employed nested-mixed design, which is a mixed research method; the data were supported by including the qualitative phase into an experimental study. In this frame, a group of 114 middle school students consisting of 5th graders were given coding training titled "Kesfet Project - I Discover Coding" by using unplugged coding content. The Computational Thinking Scale was applied to the students at the beginning and end of the training; the results obtained from the scale were analyzed by means of a paired t test. Finally, it was found out that unplugged coding activities had a positive effect on the improvement of computational thinking skills of the students. An examination of the sub-factors revealed that there is statistically no significant change in the problem solving skill despite the positive impact observed on creativity, algorithmic thinking, collaboration and critical thinking skills. Following the analysis of observation and daily data, the findings obtained revealed that the students usually displayed high levels of motivation and class participation in unplugged coding activities, they had difficulty in concretizing certain concepts as well as subjects requiring mathematical knowledge; various teaching methods and techniques were used in classes; the students liked the activities especially due to their appealing nature and their relation to daily life; however, there were occasional problems with scheduling of activities and teamwork due to over-crowded class size; the students experienced problems in achieving outcomes such as perceiving the relationship between computer science and mathematics and analyzing the given problem, and could have difficulty in associating between computer science and mathematics or between the subjects learned and the computer lesson, and in analyzing a given problem.
In this study, effectiveness of a computer science course at the secondary school level is investigated through a holistic approach addressing the dimensions of instructional content design, development, implementation and evaluation framed according to ADDIE instructional design model where evaluation part constituted the research process for the current study. The process has initiated when the computer science curriculum had major revisions in order to provide in-service teachers with necessary support and guidance. The study is carried through as a project, which lasted more than one year and both quantitative and qualitative measures were used through a sequential explanatory method approach. The intention was to investigate the whole process in detail in order to reveal the effectiveness of the process and the products. In this regard, not only teachers' perceptions but also students' developments in their perceptions of academic achievement and computational thinking, as well as correlations between the computational thinking sub-factors were investigated. The findings showed that the instructional materials and activities developed within the scope of the study, positively affected the computational thinking and academic achievement of students aged 10 and 12 years old. The teachers' weekly feedbacks regarding application structures and implementation processes were also supported the findings and revealed some more details that will be useful both for instructional designers and teachers.
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.
Although there is no universal agreement that students should learn programming, many countries have reached a consensus on the need to expose K-12 students to Computational Thinking (CT). When, what and how to teach CT in schools are open questions and we attempt to address them by examining how well students around the world solved problems in recent Bebras challenges. We collected and analyzed performance data on Bebras tasks from 115,400 students in grades 3-12 in seven countries. Our study provides further insight into a range of questions addressed in smaller-scale inquiries, in particular about the possible impact of schools systems and gender on students' success rate.
In addition to analyzing performance data of a large population, we have classified the considered tasks in terms of CT categories, which should account for the learning implications of the challenge. Algorithms and data representation dominate the challenge, accounting for 75-90% of the tasks, while other categories such as abstraction, parallelization and problem decomposition are sometimes represented by one or two questions at various age groups. This classification can be a starting point for using online Bebras tasks to support the effective learning of CT concepts in the classroom.
In this article we report about a study to assess Dutch teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge (\small PCK), with special focus on programming as a topic in secondary school Informatics education. For this research, we developed an online research instrument: the Online Teacher \small PCK Analyser (OTPA). The results show that Dutch teachers' \small PCK scores between low and medium. Also we enquired whether there is any relation between teachers' \small PCK and the textbooks they use by comparing the results of this study with those of a previous one in which the \small PCK of textbooks was assessed. The results show that there is no strong relation. Finally, we looked for trends between teachers' \small PCK and their educational backgrounds, as most of the Dutch teachers have a different background than Informatics. The results show that also in this case there is no strong relation.