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Title: Debugging for Art’s Sake: Beginning Programmers’ Debugging Activity in an Expressive Coding Context
Authors: Brady, Corey
Gresalfi, Melissa
Steinberg, Selena
Knowe, Madison
Keywords: Design
Issue Date: Jun-2020
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Brady, C., Gresalfi, M., Steinberg, S., & Knowe, M. (2020). Debugging for Art’s Sake: Beginning Programmers’ Debugging Activity in an Expressive Coding Context. In Gresalfi, M. and Horn, I. S. (Eds.), The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020, Volume 3 (pp. 1229-1236). Nashville, Tennessee: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Debugging is fundamental to the theory, practice, and learning of computing, and recent research suggests that a learning trajectory for debugging can be defined alongside trajectories for other core disciplinary practices. At the same time, other work in computing education has pressed the field to broaden its conception of the contexts where computational thinking occurs, identifying debugging activities and practices across diverse and multi-modal settings. In resolving this productive tension between systematically describing debugging and recognizing its broad reach, we argue researchers should attend to rich descriptions of situated debugging, especially among beginning debuggers. We present data from a week-long, free summer camp, Code Your Art, that engaged middle-school students in creating expressive computational visual effects. Here we find that students’ responses to debugging tasks varied sharply across tasks. We argue that debugging work emerges in interaction with features of the environment, and we discuss design refinements we have made to pursue and study this conjecture.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2020

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