Computational Creativity Exercises: An Avenue for Promoting Learning in Computer Science

Markeya S. Peteranetz, Abraham E. Flanigan, Duane F. Shell, Leen Kiat Soh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Computational thinking and creative thinking are valuable tools both within and outside of computer science (CS). The goal of the project discussed here is to increase students' achievement in CS courses through a series of computational creativity exercises (CCEs). In this paper, the framework of CCEs is described, and the results of two separate studies on their impact on student achievement are presented. Students in introductory CS courses completed CCEs as part of those courses. Students in Study 1 came from a variety of programs, and students in Study 2 were engineering majors. A profiling approach was used to test whether the impact of the CCEs could be accounted for by differences in students' motivated and self-regulated engagement. Overall, CCEs had positive impacts on students' grades and knowledge test scores, and although there were differences in achievement across the profiles, the impact of the CCEs was generally consistent across profiles. The CCEs appear to be a promising way to increase student achievement in introductory CS courses. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7940091
Pages (from-to)305-313
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Achievement
  • computational creativity
  • computational thinking
  • computer science education
  • creativity
  • motivation
  • problem-solving
  • self-regulated learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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