Learning Computational Thinking Together: Effects of Gender Differences in Collaborative Middle School Robotics Program

Gerald Ardito, Betül Czerkawski, Lauren Scollins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Problem-solving and critical thinking are considered important skills to be developed by students, and are supported by the development of Computational Thinking (CT) skills. This study investigated the collaborative development of CT skills in sixth grade students via a six week LEGO robotics program. This robotics program focused on the development of four key CT skills: engineering/building, coding, problem-solving, and collaboration. Students in the program maintained journals of their activities, and these journals were analyzed in order to understand the collaborative development of CT skills in these students. Findings suggest that this process is a gendered one, with the boys focused more on the operational aspects of building and coding their robots while the girls focused more on group dynamics. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-387
Number of pages15
JournalTechTrends
Volume64
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Keywords

  • Computational thinking
  • Gender differences
  • Learning networks
  • Middle school
  • Robotics
  • STEM education
  • Student collaboration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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