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An Introductory Course on Service-Oriented Computing for High Schools

, , , , , , Arizona State University, United States

JITE-Research Volume 7, Number 1, ISSN 1539-3585 Publisher: Informing Science Institute


Service-Oriented Computing (SOC) is a new computing paradigm that has been adopted by major computer companies as well as government agencies such as the Department of Defense for mission-critical applications. SOC is being used for developing Web and electronic business applications, as well as robotics, gaming, and scientific applications. Yet, SOC education is lagging. In spite of significant progresses in SOC technology and applications, SOC education has not been taught in introductory classes, even if it is technologically feasible. Most of the existing SOC courses are either graduate seminars or senior-level courses at various universities. On the other hand, SOC is component-based and introduces a high-level of abstraction, which makes it possible to teach computing within an application domain, such as robotics. In other words, the SOC learning process focuses more on the application logic rather than the syntax of programming languages, potentially making computer education entertaining. The Computer Science & Engineering Department and the College of Education at Arizona State University, in cooperation with the Scottsdale Unified School District and Coronado High School, pioneered the first SOC course for high schools (grades 9 through 12) in the Spring and Fall of 2007. The course was also offered in summers 2006, 2007, and 2008 to high school students and teachers. This course is designed so that even high school students without any computing training can learn the latest software technologies in an entertaining manner. Specifically, this course uses a visual programming environment so students can design their software visually. Thus, they can learn control constructs but do not need to focus on the details of programming language syntax. Furthermore, once the software is designed, a visual 3-D simulator can give students instantaneous feedback. Finally, the software designed can be downloaded into LEGO robots for robotic competition. Most students who took the course rated the course “very well” or “pretty well” and some indicated that they are interested enough to contemplate pursuing computer science as their career.


Tsai, W.T., Chen, Y., Cheng, C., Sun, X., Bitter, G. & White, M. (2008). An Introductory Course on Service-Oriented Computing for High Schools. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 7(1), 315-338. Informing Science Institute. Retrieved December 15, 2019 from .



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