Teaching algorithmic thinking enables students to use their knowledge in various contexts to reuse existing solutions to algorithmic problems. The aim of this study is to examine how students recognize which algorithmic concepts can be used in a new situation. We developed a card sorting task and investigated the ways in which secondary school students arranged algorithmic problems (Bebras tasks) into groups using algorithm as a criterion. Furthermore, we examined the students’ explanations for their groupings. The results of this qualitative study indicate that students may recognize underlying algorithmic concepts directly or by identifying similarities with a previously solved problem; however, the direct recognition was more successful. Our findings also include the factors that play a role in students’ recognition of algorithmic concepts, such as the degree of similarity to problems discussed during lessons. Our study highlights the significance of teaching students how to recognize the structure of algorithmic problems.
In a previous publication we examined the connections between high-school computer science (CS) and computing higher education. The results were promising—students who were exposed to computing in high school were more likely to take one of the computing disciplines. However, these correlations were not necessarily causal. Possibly those students who took CS courses, and especially high-level CS courses in high school, were already a priori inclined to pursue computing education. This uncertainty led us to pursue the current research. We aimed at finding those factors that induced students to choose CS at high school and later at higher-education institutes. We present quantitative findings obtained from analyzing freshmen computing students' responses to a designated questionnaire. The findings show that not only did high-school CS studies have a major impact on students’ choice whether to study computing in higher education—it may have also improved their view of the discipline.
The aim of this work is to adapt and test, in a Brazilian public school, the ACE model proposed by Borkulo for evaluating student performance as a teaching-learning process based on computational modeling systems. The ACE model is based on different types of reasoning involving three dimensions. In addition to adapting the model and introducing innovative methodological procedures and instruments for collecting and analyzing data, our main results showed that the ACE model is superior than written tests for discriminating students on the top and bottom of the scale of scientific reasoning abilities, while both instruments are equivalent for evaluating students in the middle of the scale.
The goal of this literature study is to give some preliminary answers to the questions that aim to uncover the Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) of Informatics Education, with focus on Programming. PCK has been defined as the knowledge that allows teachers to transform their knowledge of the subject into something accessible for their students. The core questions to uncover this knowledge are: what are the reasons to teach programming; what are the concepts we need to teach programming; what are the most common difficulties/misconceptions students encounter while learning to program; and how to teach this topic. Some of the answers found are, respectively: enhancing students' problem solving skills; programming knowledge and programming strategies; general problems of orientation; and possible ideal chains for learning computer programming. Because answers to the four questions are in a way not connected with each other, PCK being an unexplored field in Informatics Education, we need research based efforts to study this field.
The educational system in Austria is very multifaceted, and academic secondary schools represent an important part in it. This type of schools, in German called ``Gymnasium'', covers the age-group from 10 to 18 years and provides pupils and students with a broad and general education. For more than twenty years, informatics and computers have increasingly penetrated into secondary education. Austrian academic secondary schools have much freedom to cope with this challenging task within their autonomy. In this paper, a snapshot of the current situation is given with the main emphasis on the 9th grade. Only in this age-group, the ``PISA-age'', informatics is a compulsory subject. The implementation of additional IT/informatics classes at lower secondary level is exclusively the result of autonomous decisions in schools. Recently, a web-based nationwide online research has been conducted. In this paper some preliminary results are presented.
This article deals with the use of Open Source Software (OSS) at the primary and secondary level of education in Slovenia. The challenges and advantages of using OSS in educational processes are discussed. The main advantages of OSS are: economic freedom, stability, reliability and a possibility of making modifications but - on the other hand - the main problem for schools can be installation and support. The research carried out to determine the use of OSS in schools is described and the results are compared with the results of similar research studies in Germany, Sweden and UK. The results of both surveys show, that Linux and OpenOffice.org are the most popular OSS applications on computer desktops. The most important conclusion (according to our research) is that lack of knowledge prevents a faster introduction of OSS in education.
Mongolia started using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in secondary education relatively late. The computer training and informatics has been included as a subject in the secondary school curriculum in Mongolia since 1988 and in the university curriculum since 1982. This paper presents current situation of informatics education in Mongolia. SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis of Informatics Education in Mongolia, conclusions and future recommendations are also presented.
This article analyses the informatics exam of secondary education in Lithuania. The research evaluates the correspondence of examination tasks to the exam program and its aims. Then, it studies the equality of examination variants. The article also discusses the clarity of the exam questions and instructions as well as the organization of the exam and the objectivity of evaluation criteria.