In recent years, the US has begun scaling up efforts to increase access to CS into K-12 classrooms and many teachers are turning to block-based programming environments to minimize the syntax and conceptual challenges students encounter in text-based languages. Block-based programming environments, such as Scratch and App Inventor, are currently being used by millions of students in and outside the classroom. We know that when novice programmers are learning to program in block-based programming environments, they need to understand the components of these environments, how to apply programming concepts, and how to create artifacts. However, we still do not know how are they learning these components or what learning challenges they face that hinder their future participation in Computer Science. In addition, the mental effort/cognitive workload students exert while learning programming constructs is still an open question. The goal of this project is to leverage advances in Electroencephalography (EEG) research to explore how students learn CS concepts, write programs, and complete programming tasks in block-based programming.
Peer Reviewed Conference Papers
- Aggarwal, A., Touretzky, D. S., and Gardner-McCune, C. (2018) Demonstating the ability of elementary school students to reason about programs. Proceedings of SIGCSE ’18, Baltimore, MD. Association for Computing Machinery.
- Touretzky, D. S. (2017) Computational thinking and mental models: From Kodu to Calypso. Proceedings of the 2017 Blocks & Beyond Workshop, Raleigh, NC, October 10, 2017. IEEE Press.
- Touretzky, D. S., Gardner-McCune, C., and Aggarwal, A. (2017) Semantic reasoning in young programmers.Proceedings of SIGCSE ’17, Seattle, WA. Association for Computing Machinery. Click here for slides.
- Aggarwal, A., Gardner-McCune, C., and Touretzky, D. S. (2017) Evaluating the effect of using physical manipulatives to foster computational thinking in elementary school. Proceedings of SIGCSE ’17, Seattle, WA. Association for Computing Machinery.
- Touretzky, D. S., Gardner-McCune, C., and Aggarwal, A. (2016) Teaching ‘lawfulness’ with Kodu. Proceedings of SIGCSE ’16, Memphis, TN. Association for Computing Machinery. Slides.
- Touretzky, D. S., Marghitu, D., Ludi, S., Bernstein, D., and Ni, L. (2013) Accelerating computational thinking using scaffolding, staging, and abstraction. Proceedings of SIGCSE ’13, Denver, CO. Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 609-614.
Peer Reviewed Conference Posters
- Touretzky, D. S., Gardner-McCune, C., Isaac Jr., J., and Tomokiyo, L. (2018) Couplets: helping elementary school students recognize structure in code. Poster presented at SIGCSE ’18, Baltimore, MD.
- Aggarwal, A., Gardner-McCune, C., and Touretzky, D. S. (2016) Designing and refining of questions to assess students’ ability to mentally simulate programs and predict program behavior. Poster presented at SIGCSE’16.