Improving students' learning and achievement in CS classrooms through computational creativity exercises that integrate computational and creative thinking

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our research is based on an innovative approach that integrates computational thinking and creative thinking in computer science courses to improve student learning and performance. Referenc-ing Epstein's Generativity Theory, we designed and deployed Computational Creativity Exercises (CCEs) with linkages to con-cepts in computer science and computational thinking. Prior stud-ies with earlier versions of the CCEs in CS1 courses found that completing more CCEs led to higher grades and increased learn-ing of computational thinking principles. In this study, we ex-Tended the examination of CCEs to by deploying revised CCEs across two lower division (freshmen, sophomore) and three upper division (junior, senior) CS courses. We found a linear "dosage effect" of increasingly higher grades and computational think-ing/CS knowledge test scores with completion of each additional CCE. This dosage effect was consistent across lower and upper division courses. Findings supported our contention that the mer-ger of computational and creative thinking can be realized in computational creativity exercises that can be implemented and lead to increased student learning across courses from freshmen to senior level. The effect of the CCEs on learning was independent of student general academic achievement and individual student motivation. If students do the CCEs, they appear to benefit, whether or not they are self-Aware of the benefit or personally motivated to do them. Issues in implementation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages543-548
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346986
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 8 2017
Event48th ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2017 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Mar 8 2017Mar 11 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Conference on Integrating Technology into Computer Science Education, ITiCSE

Other

Other48th ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2017
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle
Period3/8/173/11/17

Keywords

  • CS course achieve-ment
  • Computational thinking
  • Creative thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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