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Applying Computational Thinking-based Programming Teaching Model on Elementary School Students’ Learning Loops
This study applied the computational thinking-based programming teaching model to teach elementary school students to learn loop concepts. The effects of the model on students' learning achievement, computational thinking, and learning attitudes were investigated. This study adopts a quasi-experimental research design. One hundred and two 4th grade elementary school students participated in the experiment. The experimental group (53 students) used the computational thinking-based programming teaching method, while the control group (49 students) used the traditional teaching method. The research tools used in this study included activity worksheets, an achievement test, a computational thinking test, an attitude questionnaire, and the Dash robot. The results showed that there was no significant difference between the computational thinking-based method and the traditional method in terms of students’ achievement test, computational thinking ability, and attitudes toward learning. Possible reasons for the results were: (1) the two teaching methods equally helped students learn loop concepts but from different perspectives, (2) the traditional method also embedded the merit of computational thinking, (3) the experimental group did not have enough time on practice activities, and (4) the nested loops were too complicated for elementary students to learn. Future studies on applying the computational thinking-based method should consider students' prior knowledge and cognitive abilities, provide scaffolding during learning, and allow more time on practice. It is suggested to apply the computational thinking-based model on other programming topics to explore how the effects may be different due to the nature of the concepts.
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