Tangible media approaches to introductory computer science

Evan Barba, Stevie Chancellor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Computing is an increasingly important component of many jobs and demand for computing skills is far outpacing the number of computationally literate workers available. Non-majors, adult learners, and other non-traditional students can potentially fill some of these positions. However, traditional CS education pathways do not currently address the unique needs of these students. New approaches to CS education that fit with the goals and lifestyles of non-traditional CS students are needed. In line with Computational Media approaches known to be successful with non-majors, we designed and implemented two graduate-level courses, one using a Pixelsense and the other using Arduino, to teach computational thinking, programming, and design skills. We compare findings from these two courses with specific focus on non-major graduate students, but including topics relevant for traditional CS educators, such as, the importance of choice of platform, structure of assignments, maintaining student motivation, and the impact of self-guided final projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationITiCSE 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages207-212
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450334402
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 22 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event20th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2015 - Vilnius, Lithuania
Duration: Jul 4 2015Jul 8 2015

Publication series

NameAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE
Volume2015-June
ISSN (Print)1942-647X

Conference

Conference20th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2015
Country/TerritoryLithuania
CityVilnius
Period7/4/157/8/15

Keywords

  • Computational media
  • Introductory computer science
  • Late bloomers
  • Non-majors
  • Physical computing
  • Tangible media

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