Improving and Assessing Computational Thinking in Maker Activities: the Integration with Physics and Engineering Learning

Yue Yin*, Roxana Hadad, Xiaodan Tang, Qiao Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Computational thinking (CT) is believed to be a critical factor to facilitate STEM learning, and a vital learning objective itself. Therefore, researchers are continuing to explore effective ways to improve and assess it. Makerspaces feature various hands-on activities, which can attract students with diverse interests from different backgrounds. If well designed, scaffolded maker activities have the potential to improve students’ CT skills and STEM learning. In this study, we explore ways to improve and assess physics and engineering integrated CT skills through developing maker activities and assessments, which are applicable in both informal and formal educational settings. Our paper presents our work on improving and assessing CT in maker activities with two primary goals. First, it introduces the maker activities and instruments we developed to improve and assess CT that are integrated in physics and engineering learning. Second, it presents the students’ CT skill and disposition change from pretest to posttest in two summer academies with CT enhanced maker activities, which was respectively led by after school educators and formal educators in a public library.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-214
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Science Education and Technology
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • computational thinking
  • formative assessment
  • makerspace
  • physics and engineering learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

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