This study aims to explore how gamification elements influence the development of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) in an online project-based programming course conducted on Facebook. We formed student groups by using a quasi-experimental design from students studying in the computer science department. While both courses were project-based, the experimental group's project development process was enriched with gamification elements. We collected data from the CoI survey, transcript analysis of online discussions, and interviews with students. The results indicated that the use of gamification elements contributed significantly to students' social, cognitive, and teaching presence development. Besides, while a high level of CoI perception was created in both groups in the online project-based learning environment, the design and organization role of the instructor came to the fore in the gamified environment more.
Source code plagiarism is a common occurrence in undergraduate computer science education. Many source code plagiarism detection tools have been proposed to address this problem. However, most of these tools only measure the similarity between assignment submissions, and do not actually identify which are suspicious of plagiarism. This work presents a semi-automatic approach that enables the indication of suspicious assignment submissions by analysing source code similarity scores among the submissions. The proposed approach seeks the consensus of multiple source code plagiarism detection tools in order to identify program pairs that are consistently evaluated with high similarity. A case study is presented to demonstrate the use of the proposed approach. The results of this case study indicate that it can accurately identify assignment submissions that are suspicious of plagiarism.
This paper describes a pilot study that explores students learning how to program via a multi-disciplinary approach. The study participants were eleven 6th grade students who learned programming fundamentals via music activities in a Scratch 3.0 environment. These activities included the programming of familiar melodies and the development of suitable animations or computer games. For that matter, a study unit termed MelodyCode was developed in the spirit of the STEAM education approach and the spiral learning method and included exploration tasks based on individual learning. Via the programming of familiar melodies, they became acquainted with programming concepts such as functions, variables, repetition and control commands, parallel processes, and more. Competitions that win awards were held from time to time, which prompted students to invest efforts in their projects to reach first place and gain the teacher and classmates' appreciation. The study was conducted in the form of action research. The data analysis yielded references to the effect of MelodyCode on common stereotypes students hold regarding programming (masculine profession, necessitates good mathematics knowledge), cognitive aspects (cognitive load, linking music concrete use to abstract programming concepts), and affective aspects (joyful and relaxing class atmosphere, motivation, curiosity, self-efficacy).
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.
The contents taught in the programming subjects have a great relevance in the formation of computing students. However, these subjects are characterized by high failure rates, as they require logical reasoning and mathematical knowledge. Thus, establishing knowledge through the subject of algorithms can help students to overcome these difficulties and absorb the contents and skills required. Thus, this work aims to present and discuss the results of a second experiment on the application of a teaching plan composed of several active methodologies (Virtual Learning Environments, Coding Dojo, Gamification, Problem-Based Learning, Flipped Classroom and Serious Games) in an algorithms subject. Based on this experiment, it was evaluated whether there were learning gains compared to the learning acquired with the traditional method. Finally, an analysis was performed using the two-tailed Student-t approach, used for independent samples, which presented statistically significant results.
Background: Petri nets are a formal specification technique for modelling of control processes and modern flexible manufacturing systems. Interpreted Petri nets take into account input and output signals, allowing to apply them in any control system or even in control part of a cyber-physical system. Due to the fact that Petri nets are not used in the industrial practice, the students sometimes lack motivation to learn them. Contributions: In the paper we propose how to help students learn interpreted Petri nets with Minecraft (as a game-based learning). We show how interpreted Petri nets can be modelled in Minecraft and how they communicate with the surrounding environment via input and output signals to visualize control processes. The proposed approach has been validated experimentally among university students. Hypotheses: (1) Creating interpreted Petri net models with Minecraft helps to understand the basic principles; (2) Minecraft makes the course more attractive. Methodology: Students were divided into an experimental group (with game-based learning) and a control group (with traditional learning). The experimental group filled in a knowledge test twice (on the entry and on the exit) and a questionnaire. The control group filled in the same knowledge test at the end of the course. Findings: The observations confirm that the Minecraft-based teaching of interpreted Petri nets allows to gain better results in final tests, making at the same time the course more attractive and enjoyable.
Although Machine Learning (ML) has already become part of our daily lives, few are familiar with this technology. Thus, in order to help students to understand ML, its potential, and limitations and to empower them to become creators of intelligent solutions, diverse courses for teaching ML in K-12 have emerged. Yet, a question less considered is how to assess the learning of ML. Therefore, we performed a systematic mapping identifying 27 instructional units, which also present a quantitative assessment of the students’ learning. The simplest assessments range from quizzes to performance-based assessments assessing the learning of basic ML concepts, approaches, and in some cases ethical issues and the impact of ML on lower cognitive levels. Feedback is mostly limited to the indication of the correctness of the answers and only a few assessments are automated. These results indicate a need for more rigorous and comprehensive research in this area.
Due to technological advancements, robotics is findings its way into the classroom. However, workload for teachers is high, and teachers sometimes lack the knowledge to implement robotics education. A key factor of robotics education is peer learning, and having students (near-)peers teach them robotics could diminish workload. Therefore, this study implemented near-peer teaching in robotics education. 4 K10-11 secondary school students were teachers to 83 K5-6 primary school students. The intervention included 4 3-hour robotics lessons in Dutch schools. Primary school students completed a pre- and post-intervention questionnaire on their STEM-attitudes and near-peer teaching experience, and a report on their learning outcomes. Interaction with near-peer teachers was observed. After the lessons, a paired-samples t-test showed that students had a more positive attitude towards engineering and technology. Students also reported a positive near-peer teaching experience. Conventional content analysis showed that students experienced a gain in programming and robotics skill after the lessons, and increased conceptual understanding of robotics. The role the near peer teachers most frequently fulfilled was formative assessor. Near-peer teachers could successfully fulfil a role as an engaging information provider. This study shows that near-peer teachers can effectively teach robotics, diminishing workload for teachers. Furthermore, near-peer robotics lessons could lead to increased STEM-attitudes.
Nowadays, SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses) have been used as complementary methods to support classroom teaching. SPOCs are courses that apply the usage of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), combining classroom with online education, making them an exciting alternative for contexts such as emergency remote teaching. Although SPOCs have been continuously proposed in the software engineering teaching area, it is crucial to assess their practical applicability via measuring the effectiveness of this resource in the teaching-learning process. In this context, this paper aims to present an experimental evaluation to investigate the applicability of a SPOC in a Verification, Validation, and Software Testing course taught during the period of emergency remote education during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Therefore, we conducted a controlled experiment comparing alternative teaching through the application of a SPOC with teaching carried out via lectures. The comparison between the teaching methods is made by analyzing the students’ performance during the solving of practical activities and essay questions on the content covered. In addition, we used questionnaires to analyze students’ motivation during the course. Study results indicate an improvement in both motivation and performance of students participating in SPOC, which corroborates its applicability to the software testing teaching area.
In programming problem solving activities, sometimes, students need feedback to progress in the course, being positively affected by the received feedback. This paper presents an overview of the state of the art and practice of the feedback approaches on introductory programming. To this end, we have carried out a systematic literature mapping to understand and discuss the main approaches for providing and evaluating feedback used in the learning of novice programmers in the problem solving activity. Thus, according to a formal protocol, an automatic search was performed for papers from 2016 to 2021. As a result, 39 studies were selected for the final analysis. As a result, we propose three different categorizations: the main approaches to providing feedback, the main methods used in the evaluation and the main aspects and effects of the evaluated feedback.