The Effects of Tinkerability on Novice Programming Skill Acquisition

ID: 34617 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Tian Luo, Ohio University, United States

Tuesday, October 18 10:40 AM-11:00 AM Location: O'ahu

Presider: Rob McTavish, Simon Fraser University, Canada

This paper reports on an exploratory study which used a graphical programming environment, Scratch, to facilitate the comprehension of a scripting programming language, ActionScript. Online survey questionnaires were distributed to 34 enrolled students, in a graduate level programming course with a 70% response rate. Findings indicated that Scratch contributed to the understanding of basic programming concepts such as event handling, sequential, and conditional statement but it was less helpful in assisting students’ understanding of more abstract concepts such as variables. This study also suggests that students’ learning style preference and proficiency with programming also make a difference in their perception of using Scratch. Educators are recommended to provide students with explicit guidance on how the different programming environments manifest similar programming ideas and concepts.


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