July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Engineering Design Graphics
This paper presents the pilot study of a web-based desktop virtual reality (VR) instructional framework used to teach computational thinking (CT) concepts to secondary students. Classroom CT instructional practices are vastly underexplored in research on adolescent beginning programmers. Training in computational thinking, requires a firm grasp of various components ranging from fundamental aspects. The study’s objective was to create a VR platform consisting of four VR learning modules to teach data types, conditionals, loops, and operators. Each module developed one CT topic with engaging interactive activities, animated models, and games with built-in self-assessment.
This paper details the modules’ development, deployment, and outcomes related to the use of the VR modules within a science and math enrichment camp focused on learning engineering design and coding. The study assessed student use of the four CT topics in their final design project—a coded personal reflection. A lack of the fundamental understanding of CT concepts is a critical factor in STEM attrition rates as CT skills are highly interconnected to various branches of engineering and technology. So, we employ a CT perspective to deliver essential skills related to STEM concepts to facilitate skills transfer including problem solving and critical thinking. Students’ final projects were analyzed including a block-coded animation or app in code.org and a written summary of the project, as well as an “artist statement” that was required to relate the CT topics to the project’s program. Data analysis is still underway. Early conclusions indicate that explicit development of each CT topic was useful for project success if the coding platform also scaffolded coding using identical language as the modules (for loops to for loops, for example.) Potential impacts of this study include recommendations for introducing CT topics to high school beginning coders.
Shirey, K. L., & Chandramouli, M. (2021, July), Work in Progress Pilot Study: Virtual Reality for Computational Thinking Foundations and STEM Enrichment Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38113
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015