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Title: Agency and Expressivity in Programming Play
Authors: Steinberg, Selena
Gresalfi, Melissa
Keywords: Learning Sciences
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Steinberg, S. & Gresalfi, M. (2021). Agency and Expressivity in Programming Play. In de Vries, E., Hod, Y., & Ahn, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2021. (pp. 581-584). Bochum, Germany: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Computer programming has been conceptualized as an expressive medium, but little is known about how to best support students in exercising agency and engagement in coding tasks. This paper draws on data from a five-day summer camp for middle school students that integrated computer science and movement. We focus on an activity in which students created choreography and modeled it in the programming environment NetLogo. The task was designed with the goal of creating opportunities for students to exercise agency and expressivity while coding. We analyze the extent to which incompatibilities, or moments of mismatch between what is possible in the dance versus NetLogo environments, shaped students’ agency and exploration. Our findings suggest that designing with incompatibilities positioned students with agency over their models and supported their own expressive goals.
Appears in Collections:ISLS Annual Meeting 2021

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