Attending to structural programming features predicts differences in learning and motivation
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Volume 34, Number 2, ISSN 1365-2729 Publisher: Wiley
Educational robotics programs offer an engaging opportunity to potentially teach core computer science concepts and practices in K–12 classrooms. Here, we test the effects of units with different programming content within a virtual robotics context on both learning gains and motivational changes in middle school (6th–8th grade) robotics classrooms. Significant learning gains were found overall, particularly for groups introduced to content involving program flow, the structural logic of program execution. Relative gains for these groups were particularly high on items that require the transfer of knowledge to dissimilar contexts. Reaching units that included program flow content was also associated with greater maintenance of programming interest when compared with other units. Therefore, our results suggest that explicit instruction in the structural logic of programming may develop deeper transferrable programming knowledge and prevent declines in some motivational factors.
Witherspoon, E.B., Schunn, C.D., Higashi, R.M. & Shoop, R. (2018). Attending to structural programming features predicts differences in learning and motivation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 34(2), 115-128. Wiley.