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The Effects of Mind Maps on Computational Thinking

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Computers in Education Division Technical Session 8: Modulus Topics

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Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Safia Malallah Kansas State University

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Safia Malallah is a web developer, artist, and Ph.D. candidate at Kansas State University. She obtained her master’s degree in computer science from Montana State University in 2017. Her research is centered around metamorphic relations ranking for reducing testing costs in scientific software. ِSafia's research interests expanded to include computer science education after observing the influence computer science has on her children. Her current research project is examining methods of teaching young children computational thinking by modeling playground environments. She seeks to expand her experience by volunteering and helping to facilitate STEM workshops.

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Joshua Levi Weese Kansas State University

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Dr. Josh Weese is a Teaching Assistant Professor at Kansas State University in the department of Computer Science. Dr. Weese joined K-State as faculty in the Fall of 2017. He has expertise in data science, software engineering, web technologies, computer science education, and primary and secondary outreach programs. Dr. Weese has been the lead developer for the PhysPort Data Explorer, a data analytics and visualization portal that enables physics faculty to upload assessment data and receive instant feedback on their students’ assessment results, including expert recommendations and customized visualizations. Dr. Weese is highly active in several outreach programs, including Kansas STARBASE, USD 383 Summer STEM Institute, Girl Scouts of the USA, and Boy Scouts of America, reaching over 1200 Kansas K-12 students annually. He is also currently serving on the state K-12 Computer Science standards committee, leading to adopted computer science standards for the state of Kansas.

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Mind Maps (MM) have proven to be a practical approach that promotes meaningful learning in various domains. Yet, few works exist that investigate employing MM to blend CT across curricula. In this paper, we developed a MM approach - named Storyboard-tree - to transform "Standard/traditional" slides (SS) to the MM structure. Storyboard-tree associates the information by creating a story that chains the data with ideas and concepts which lead from the first to next and so on. The applied materials are two models in an Introduction to Computer Science (CS) course. The study utilizes two sections: one is taught with MM, and the other with SS. The observed academic results and the acceptance rate of the students and the instructors were encouraging. MM with freshman show statically significant self-efficiency scores with an approximate 50% better performance than with SS in the Algorithm concept, while all students show a statistically similar trend in the knowledge gained as well as the fondness of the approach through the self-efficiency scores. Instructor satisfaction tends to go more towards the SS approach seeing the MM implementation as not mature enough. However, the investigation concludes that the mind map technique is a feasible way to deliver CT concepts, thereby a practical approach to integrate CT into the curriculum.

Malallah, S., & Weese, J. L. (2020, June), The Effects of Mind Maps on Computational Thinking Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35312

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