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From App Inventor to Java: Introducing Object-oriented Programming to Middle School Students Through Experiential Learning

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

COED: Gamification and Introducing Students to Programming

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Farzana Rahman Florida International University

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Farzana Rahman is a faculty of School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University (FIU). Before joining FIU, she was an assistant professor at James Madison University (JMU). She is the director of the first REU program hosted by JMU during summer 2017. She designed and delivered courses on mobile development that involved critical research challenges of mobile computing area. She has mentored over 10 undergraduate students through research projects and honor thesis, the majority in the areas of mobile computing and mHealth. Her efforts over the last several years have led to several papers published in top ACM and IEEE conferences with undergraduate co-authors. Her field of interest encompasses Security, Trust and Privacy in Pervasive Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile Computing, CS education, and Mobile Healthcare Privacy. She has ben very active in broadening participation of women and underrepresented minority in computer science. She has also been working as an active member of various international conference technical program and journal review boards. She Additionally, she has served as Co Chair of IEEE PerIoT 2017 and 2018, IEEE eIoT 2017, IEEE STPSA 2014, 2015, 2016, and ACM CAPWIC 2017 conferences. She is also the winner of the ABI sponsored Fall 2014 Systers PIO award. She is the founder of CS4VA initiative, a one-day CS outreach program dedicated to build a Virginia statewide network for creating a more diverse CS K-12 pipeline.

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In recent years, there have been tremendous efforts in developing learning materials in schools and universities to increase interest in computer science (CS). More recently, CS education researchers are beginning to recognize the need to apply the learning sciences to develop age- and grade-appropriate curricula and pedagogies for developing computational competencies among children. One effective approach to build learning competencies among young children is through Experiential Learning, which is the process of learning from experience, a methodology in which educators engage with students in direct experience to increase knowledge, develop skills, and clarify values. Our goal, in this paper, is to report our experiences on teaching Object Oriented Programming (OOP) to middle school students using App Inventor through experiential learning. App Inventor is a visual programming environment that is widely used by young people to develop mobile applications for Android platform. We developed a curriculum for middle-school students that follow the principles of experiential learning model and teach foundational concepts of OOP through collaborative app development using App Inventor. We report the results of our findings in applying this curriculum in a two-week block course.

Rahman, F. (2018, June), From App Inventor to Java: Introducing Object-oriented Programming to Middle School Students Through Experiential Learning Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30539

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