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Enhancing The Teaching Of CS 1 By Programming Mobile Apps In MIT App Inventor

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Mobile Devices and Apps

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.671.1 - 26.671.9



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Paper Authors


Kefei Wang Gonzaga University

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Computer Science Department
Gonzaga University

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Enhancing The Teaching Of CS1 By Programming Mobile Apps In AppInventor For Android  AbstractThis paper presents the development of a curriculum of CS1 course, which conveys thebasics of programming techniques and foundational concepts of Computer Science (CS).To build a solid start for prospective CS majors, while also attract students from othersubject areas, a new pedagogy of programming was conducted by using MIT AppInventor, a blocks-based programming environment that enables students to create appsfor Android devices. To create an effective and dynamic learning environment, wedeveloped a series of hand-on component into the course work. Students are excitedabout the idea of building apps and then run them on their phones and tablets. Thus, theyare motived to make a grater effort to learn the concepts embodied in the assignments.Through this engaging and intriguing method, the freshly designed curriculum helpsstudents master a number of vital skills in computational thinking, logic and reasoning,design, teamwork and problem solving. All required contents are covered using AppInventor for the first three quarters of the semester, and then revisited during the finalquarter using Java to reinforce the proficiency of programming in a general programminglanguage. Pre and post surveys were conducted to study the acceptance of the newteaching method, and a set of evaluation rubrics were adopted to analysis theperformance of students. The study indicates that the new curriculum not only helpsmotivate students from all majors, but also improves students’ performance.  

Wang, K. (2015, June), Enhancing The Teaching Of CS 1 By Programming Mobile Apps In MIT App Inventor Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24009

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