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The role of physicality in rich programming environments

Liu, AS and Schunn, CD and Flot, J and Shoop, R (2013) The role of physicality in rich programming environments. Computer Science Education, 23 (4). 315 - 331. ISSN 0899-3408

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Computer science proficiency continues to grow in importance, while the number of students entering computer science-related fields declines. Many rich programming environments have been created to motivate student interest and expertise in computer science. In the current study, we investigated whether a recently created environment, Robot Virtual Worlds (RVWs), can be used to teach computer science principles within a robotics context by examining its use in high-school classrooms. We also investigated whether the lack of physicality in these environments impacts student learning by comparing classrooms that used either virtual or physical robots for the RVW curriculum. Results suggest that the RVW environment leads to significant gains in computer science knowledge, that virtual robots lead to faster learning, and that physical robots may have some influence on algorithmic thinking. We discuss the implications of physicality in these programming environments for learning computer science. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Liu, AS
Schunn, CDschunn@pitt.eduSCHUNN0000-0003-3589-297X
Flot, J
Shoop, R
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Learning Research & Development Center
Date: 1 December 2013
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Computer Science Education
Volume: 23
Number: 4
Page Range: 315 - 331
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/08993408.2013.847165
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0899-3408
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2014 16:54
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:56


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