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A Study of Using Robots (Simulators) in Teaching High School Programming
|Abstract:||本研究之目的在探討應用Lego Mindstorms 輔助學生學習程式設計概念的成效，並希望瞭解學生Mindstorms 的學習經驗是否有助於高階語言程式設的計學習。研究以準實驗研究法（quasi-experiment）實施。實驗組為已具Mindstorms 學習經驗的35 位高一學生，控制組為未學過Mindstorms 的35 位學生，二組學生均參與12 小時的VB 程式設計課程。資料蒐集是透過問卷、成就測驗、及焦點團體訪談的方式進行。研究結果發現，二組學生在VB 學習成就上也無顯著的差異。而雖然具Mindstorms 學習經驗學生對VB的興趣、信心、成就感、及未來學習意願等，均比無Mindstorms 學習經驗的學生持比較正面的看法，但並未達到統計上的顯著差異。多數實驗組學生認可Mindstorms 視覺化工具（RobLab 及機器車）助益，發現學生對學習Mindstorms 比對學習VB 有較高的興趣及成就感。值得注意的一點是，二組學生在「腦海中可以想像程式執行過程」一項達到了顯著差異，有比較多數具Mindstorms 學習經驗學生認為他們可以想像程式執行過程。未來可重複本研究，但將教學活動設計及實施更為精化（如Mindstorms 與VB 教材的關聯），並收集質化資料加以分析（如學習遷移方面），應可獲得更完整、深入的研究結論。|
Teaching programming has long been a great challenge for computer science teachers. Students often have difficulties in learning at the beginning stages. The reasons may be due to program codes are executed inside a computer. This study used Lego Mindstorms, a programmable robot, to help students learn programming concepts. Lego Mindstorms provides a visual programming tool, RoboLab, for students to write programs to control the Mindstorms robot. Students could see how their programs were executed by observing the behaviors of the robot. The objective of the study was to investigate whether the pre-learning of RoboLab programming concepts would help students' learning of programming using a high level language, i.e. Visual Basic (VB) in our study. The study used a quasi-experimental design. Two classes of high school students, one served as the experimental group and the other as the control group, participated in the student. The experimental group had learned 9 hours RoboLab programming before entering the treatment-where both groups learned 12 hours of VB programming. Research data were collected from students' answered questionnaires, performance tests, and focus group interviews. The results showed that there was no significant difference on students' comprehension of VB programs between both groups. However, more students in the experimental group admitted that they could imagine the execution of a program than those of the control group. The experimental group considered Mindstorms a helpful tool for their learning of programming concepts.
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