June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Computing & Information Technology
22.1347.1 - 22.1347.15
Students’ Understanding of Computational Problem-Solving TasksComputational thinking embodies multiple reasoning processes or ways of thinking thattranscend time and disciplines. As a result, computational thinking represents an attitude andskill-set that is changing the way we think by providing an extension to our cognitive faculties.These changes are impacting science, technology, and society “on ways new discoveries will bemade, innovation will occur, and cultures will evolve” (Wing, 2009). Because computationalthinking constitutes a powerful and pervasive tool to solve problems, researchers have pointedout that there is the need to start teaching computational thinking early and often; howeverseveral challenges have been identified. Questions such as: “What are the effective ways oflearning computational thinking? What are the effective ways of teaching computationalthinking? What are the elemental concepts of computational thinking? And how should theseconcepts be integrated into the curriculum? Are some of the questions that need to be dealtwith.In this phenomenographical study we explore how five to ten technology and engineeringstudents approach solving computational problems. The specific research question for thisstudy is how students understand and respond to a computational problem–solving task? Thisstudy is guided under the premise that people’s ways of experiencing phenomena result fromthe unique interaction of their understanding of the phenomena and the situation in which theymust apply that understanding. Therefore, to pursue this investigation we designedassessments consisting of problem-solving tasks where students will: a) identify what theproblem is about and b) what would be the appropriate way to tackle the problem in terms of theoutcomes of their learning activities. The data analysis will be conducted followingphenomenographical research methods where similarities and differences between students’understandings of a problem and their different approaches for tackling it will be discovered. Ourultimate goal is that by identifying, comparing, and contrasting students’ understandings andstrategies to approach problems, more effective instructional approaches will be identified.
Magana, A. J., & Santiago-Román, A. I., & Santiago, N. G., & Aceros, C. A., & Marshall, B. H., & Matson, E. T. (2011, June), Students’ Understanding of Computational Problem-Solving Tasks Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18745
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