This study aims to provide a deeper understanding about the Bebras tasks, which is one of the computational thinking (CT) unplugged activities, in terms of age level, task category, and CT skills. Explanatory sequential mixed method was adopted in the study in order to collect data according to the research questions. The participants of the study were 113,653 school students from different age levels. Anonymous data was collected electronically from the Turkey 2019 Bebras challenge. Factor analysis was employed to reveal the construct validity to determine how accurately the tool measured the abstract psychological characteristics of the participants. In addition, the item discrimination index was calculated to measure how discriminating the items in the challenge were. Qualitative data gathered through the national Bebras workshop was analysed according to content analysis. The findings highlighted some interesting points about the implications of the Bebras Challenge for Turkey, which are discussed in detail. Furthermore, common problems of Bebras tasks are identified and possible suggestions for improvement are listed.
The Bebras challenge offers pupils and teachers an engaging opportunity to discover informatics, by solving small tasks that aim at promoting computational thinking. Explanations and comments that reveal the computing concepts underlying the tasks are published after the contest, and teachers are encouraged to use this material in their school practice. In this paper we present an exploratory study aimed at investigating how teachers can make use of Bebras material; in particular our interest is understanding whether teachers are able to identify, comprehend, and apply the computing concepts implied by Bebras tasks, and how they can integrate them into their teaching practice. We qualitatively analyzed teaching projects developed by Italian teachers during a workshop on computing education and based on Bebras tasks; the analysis shows that teachers are in general able to build upon the tasks soundly, but it also raises some critical issues.
This study investigated the role of using unplugged computing activities on developing computational thinking (CT) skills of 6th-grade students. The unplugged computing classroom activities were based on the Bebras challenge, an international contest that aims to promote CT and informatics among school students of all ages. Participants of the study were fifty-three 6th-grade students from two public middle schools in Istanbul. The unplugged computing activities involved the tasks with three different difficulty levels covering the CT processes found to be common in CT definitions in the literature. To evaluate students’ CT skills, two equivalent tests were constructed from Bebras tasks considering the same parameters (difficulty levels and CT processes). The results showed that students’ post-test scores were significantly higher than their pre-test scores. There were not any significant differences between students’ scores in terms of gender, and there was no interaction effect between students’ CT scores and their gender.