June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
13.319.1 - 13.319.16
Computer Aided Instruction as a Vehicle for Problem Solving: Scratch Programming Environment in the Middle Years Classroom
Quincy Brown, William Mongan, Dara Kusic, Elaine Garbarine, Eli Fromm, Adam Fontecchio College of Engineering Drexel University Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA qb23,wmm24,emg26,kusic,fromme,firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the 1960’s, Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) has been promoted as the new standard for teaching and learning. Schools were provided with computers and internet connections at an astounding rate in the 1990’s, but there was no correlated increase in student performance.1 Investigation into this problem has revealed that computer technology is simply used to augment traditional ‘instructionist’ teaching strategies,1,2 and this type of integration does not parallel the current real-time problem solving domain that is driven by technology.
Therefore, the integration of technology to reinforce science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education must not simply augment the existing teaching framework, but also present open-ended engineering problems that require a combination of problem-solving intuition and strategies learned in the classroom. The goal of this work, conducted via the NSF GK-12 program at Drexel University, is to evaluate the integration of computer-aided instruction and computer programming strategies learned in the classroom as it impacts the open-ended problem solving skills of grade 5 and 6 students. The NSF GK-12 program at Drexel University aims to use engineering as a contextual vehicle to augment STEM education, as well as to inspire students to pursue engineering disciplines.
In this work, we introduce computer-aided instruction using the Scratch3 programming envi- ronment for children as a context for problem-solving to engage and assess the problem-solving skills of the students who use them. Reitman deﬁnes a problem solver as a person perceiving and adapting a goal without an immediate means of reaching the goal.4 We utilize the child-friendly Scratch programming environment on the hypothesis that an unfamiliar problem domain can be better approached by students who have been taught to deconstruct mathematical concepts and logical sequences into the simple steps to be understood by a computer. This approach incorporates microelectronic technology as both the means and the subject of learning transferable problem solving skills.
Educational research indicates a deﬁciency in the measurable impact of technology in the classroom.2 This work measures and evaluates the impact of CAI on student performance by evaluating the students’ use of problem-solving skills and heuristics.5,6 Students in two ﬁfth and two sixth grade classes as well as a control group receive a pre-test and post-test asking them to solve mathematical problems using any approach. After receiving the pre-tests, the non-control 0 The authors acknowledge support by NSF grant DGE-0538476
Brown, Q., & Mongan, W., & Kusic, D., & Garbarine, E., & Fromm, E., & Fontecchio, A. (2008, June), Computer Aided Instruction As A Vehicle For Problem Solving: Scratch Boards In The Middle Years Classroom Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3826
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