Promoting Student Competencies in Informatics Education by Combining Semantic Waves and Algorithmic Thinking
Pub. online: 24 April 2022 Type: Article Open Access
24 April 2022
24 April 2022
We live in a digital age, not least accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is all the more important in our society that students learn and master the key competence of algorithmic thinking to understand the informatics concepts behind every digital phenomena and thus is able to actively shape the future. For this to be successful, concepts must be identified that can convey this key competence to all students in such a way that algorithmic thinking is integrated in the subject of informatics - beyond a pure programming course. Furthermore, based on the Legitimation Code Theory, semantic waves provide a way to develop and review lesson plans. Therefore, we planned a workshop, that follow the phases of a semantic wave addressing algorithmic problems using a blockbased programming language. Considering this, we suggest the so-called SWAT concept (Semantic Wave Algorithmic Thinking concept), which is carried out and analyzed in a workshop with students. The workshop was carried out in online format in an 8th grade of a high school during a coronavirus lockdown. The level of algorithmic thinking was measured using a pretest and posttest both in the treatment group and in a control group and with the help of the approximate adjusted fractional Bayes factors for testing informative hypotheses statistically and through a reductive, qualitative content analysis of the students’ work results (worksheets and created programs) evaluated. The semantic wave concept was measured using several cognitive load ratings of the students during the workshop and also statistically evaluated with the approximate adjusted fractional Bayes factors for testing informative hypotheses, as well as a qualitative content analysis of the worksheets. Results of this pilot study provide first insights, that the SWAT-concept can be used in combination of unplugged and plugged parts.