Integrating computational and creative thinking to improve learning and performance in CS1

L. D. Miller, Leen Kiat Soh, Vlad Chiriacescu, Elizabeth Ingraham, Duane F. Shell, Melissa Patterson Hazley

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

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our research is based on an innovative approach that integrates computational thinking and creative thinking in CS1 to improve student learning performance. Referencing Epstein's Generativity Theory, we designed and deployed a suite of creative thinking exercises with linkages to concepts in computer science and computational thinking, with the premise that students can leverage their creative thinking skills to "unlock" their understanding of computational thinking. In this paper, we focus on our study on differential impacts of the exercises on different student populations. For all students there was a linear "dosage effect" where completion of each additional exercise increased retention of course content. The impacts on course grades, however, were more nuanced. CS majors had a consistent increase for each exercise, while non-majors benefited more from completing at least three exercises. It was also important for freshmen to complete all four exercises. We did find differences between women and men but cannot draw conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2014 - Proceedings of the 45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages475-480
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Event45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2014 - Atlanta, GA
Duration: Mar 5 2014Mar 8 2014

Other

Other45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2014
CityAtlanta, GA
Period3/5/143/8/14

Keywords

  • Computational thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • CS1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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