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A multiyear investigation of student computational thinking concepts, practices, and perspectives in an after-school computing program

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Description:

In this work, we examine whether repeated participation in an after-school computing program influenced student learning of computational thinking concepts, practices, and perspectives. We also examine gender differences in learning outcomes. The program was developed through a school–university partnership. Data were collected from 138 students over a 2.5-year period. Data sources included pre–post content assessments of computational concepts related to programming in addition to computational artifacts and interviews with a purposeful sample of 12 participants. Quantitative data were analyzed using statistical methods to identify gains in pre- and post-learning of computational thinking concepts and examine potential gender differences. Interview data were analyzed qualitatively. Results indicated that students made significant gains in their learning of computational thinking concepts and that gains persisted over time. Results also revealed differences in learning of computational thinking concepts among boys and girls both at the beginning and end of the program. Finally, results from student interviews provided insights into the development of computational thinking practices and perspectives over time. Results have implications for the design of after-school computing programs that help broaden participation in computing. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States

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