In Poland, talent development is organized mainly outside or alongside the educational system. A large number of privately funded informatics contests and extra-curricular talent development programs for highly motivated students are available. However, traditional competitions also exist including national informatics Olympiads and competitions mainly supported by the Ministry of Education. In particular, we stimulate interest in informatics by organizing the annual nationwide InfoSukces contest. This contest was organized for the first time in 2015 when informatics education in Poland was experiencing difficulties recruiting new students, who were in growing demand on the labor market. The aim of the contest is now to make students aware that the jobs of the future require problem-solving, digital skills, and creative thinking, all of which can be taught through informatics. The contest also provides a platform for a unique series of activities, the goal of which is to support partnerships and knowledge flow between schools and universities. This article provides a case study of the final stage of the InfoSukces contest, which involves the participants developing a “work of art” in the Scratch programming environment. It also presents the holistic method for quantitative evaluation of the students’ creative visual-based programming projects.
Developing an engaging and positive learning environment for learners, especially in a particular course, is one of the most creative aspects of teaching. Learning design supports the design of interventions, which are pedagogically informed, promote student-centered learning activities and make effective use of appropriate resources and technologies. In the context of this work, a framework is proposed for teaching learning design issues in tertiary education which interweaves teacher-centered activities with student-centered activities. The students are engaged in lab activities and in a learning design peer assessment project. Sustainable feedback practices are considered an integral part of the whole process. Findings drawn from an empirical study carried out during two consecutive academic years reveal that the interweaving of instruction and assessment may contribute to the understanding of the main learning design issues and to the cultivation of skills both in the development of educational applications as well as in the design of technology enhanced learning activities.
In education, we have noticed a significant gap between the ability of students to program in an educational visual programming environment and the ability to write code in a professional programming environment. The aim of our research was to verify the methodology of transition from visual programming of mobile applications in MIT App Inventor 2 to textual programming in the Android Studio using the Java Bridge tool as a mediator of knowledge transfer. We have examined the extent, to which students will be able to independently program own mobile applications after completing the transition from visual to textual programming using the mediator. To evaluate the performance of students, we have analysed qualitative data from teaching during 1 school year and determined the degree of achievement of educational goals according to Bloom’s taxonomy. The results suggest that students in the secondary education can acquire advanced skills in programming mobile applications in a professional programming environment, when they have knowledge of visual programming in an educational programming environment, and a suitable mediator is used to transfer such knowledge into a new context.