Teacher Perspectives on a Narrative-Centered Learning Environment to Promote Computationally-Rich Science Learning through Digital Storytelling
Abstract: Elementary school teachers are increasingly looking to incorporate computational thinking (CT) into their practice. Unlike middle and high school where CT is often integrated into a single subject, elementary school teachers have the unique opportunity to integrate CT across multiple content areas. However, there is little research on the in-platform supports elementary teachers need to accomplish this integration successfully. To investigate this integration, we are iteratively developing a narrative-centered learning environment to facilitate learning outcomes in physical science via the creation of digital narratives that elicit CT. The learning environment enables students to use their science understanding to propose a solution to a problem through story creation using custom narrative-centered programming blocks that set a story’s scene, selects characters, and controls the story’s unfolding dialogue and actions. We have engaged with four upper elementary teachers to gather their perspectives on the usability of the learning environment and input on future design iterations. In this paper, we report results from a focus group study with the teachers that examines their perceptions on whether and how the learning environment facilitates story creation and if the learning environment provides learning supports for integrated science, language arts, and CT. Initial results suggest that teachers found the environment to be engaging and supportive of students’ creativity.
Presider: Baige Liao, Department of Education Information Technology, East China Normal University