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A Literature-based Perspective Towards Learning and Pedagogy of Computational Thinking

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

New Engineering Educators 2: Success In and Out of the Classroom

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

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Paper Authors


Huma Shoaib Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Huma Shoaib is an engineering education graduate student at Purdue working with INSPIRE. Her research interests are; identifying computational thinking patterns in engineering students and underrepresentation of women in engineering.

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Sean P. Brophy Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Sean Brophy is an engineer, learning scientist and educator. His research in engineering education and learning sciences explores how students think with technology. His current research focuses on learners development of computational thinking relative to their ability to reason with models during problem solving activities. He has been working on finding learning experiences with technology to develop these skills.

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This literature review presents a new perspective to view computational thinking as an enduring competency for learning and problem-solving. Computational thinking is a 21st century way of problem-solving and is also a competency that has enduring outcomes given we are in the technological era. However, there is limited research synthesis available on how Computational Thinking enhances learning and what kind of pedagogies are suitable for incorporating Computational Thinking in science and engineering classrooms. We perform a literature review of the available research related to Computation Thinking to answer the following research questions: 1) What does the literature inform us about learning or transfer through Computational Thinking in science and engineering disciplines? 2) How can Computational Thinking based learning be facilitated through pedagogy? We also examine which components of Computational thinking are difficult to learn and why so? in-order to address our first research question. Hence, the key components of this review focus on learning and pedagogy based on Computational Thinking. We develop a synthesis of suggestions and explanations to answer the proposed questions based on literature from recent research in computational thinking. As for the instructional implication, based on our initial analysis we propose that a constructionism-based problem-solving active learning environment, with information processing, scaffolding and reflection activities, could be designed to enhance learning through computational thinking.

Shoaib, H., & Brophy, S. P. (2020, June), A Literature-based Perspective Towards Learning and Pedagogy of Computational Thinking Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34011

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