Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://repository.isls.org//handle/1/742
Title: Blocks or Text? How programming language modality makes a difference in assessing underrepresented populations
Authors: Weintrop, David
Killen, Heather
Franke, Baker E
Issue Date: Jul-2018
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc. [ISLS].
Citation: Weintrop, D., Killen, H., & Franke, B. E. (2018). Blocks or Text? How programming language modality makes a difference in assessing underrepresented populations. In Kay, J. and Luckin, R. (Eds.) Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count, 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2018, Volume 1. London, UK: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Broadening participation in computing is a major goal in contemporary computer science education. The emergence of visual, block-based programming environments such as Scratch and Alice have created a new pathway into computing, bringing creativity and playfulness into introductory computing contexts. Building on these successes, national curricular efforts in the United States are starting to incorporate block-based programming into instructional materials alongside, or in place of, conventional text-based programming. To understand if this decision is helping learners from historically underrepresented populations succeed in computing classes, this paper presents an analysis of over 5,000 students answering questions presented in both block-based and text-based modalities. A comparative analysis shows that while all students perform better when questions are presented in the block-based form, female students and students from historically underrepresented minorities saw the largest improvements. This finding suggests the choice of representation can positively affect groups historically marginalized in computing.
URI: https://doi.dx.org/10.22318/cscl2018.328
https://repository.isls.org//handle/1/742
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2018

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