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Smartphones, Studio-Based Learning, and Scaffolding: Helping Novices Learn to Program

Smartphones, Studio-Based Learning, and Scaffolding: Helping Novices Learn to Program Smartphones, Studio-Based Learning, and Scaffolding: Helping Novices Learn to Program SUSAN REARDON, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland BRENDAN TANGNEY, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland This article describes how smartphones, studio-based learning, and extensive scaffolding were used in combination in the teaching of a freshman Introduction to Programming course. To reduce cognitive overload, a phased approach was followed in introducing programming concepts and development environments, beginning with the visual programming environment Scratch and culminating with Java development for Android smartphones. Studio-based learning, a pedagogical approach long established in the fields of architecture and design education, was used as the basis for a collaborative social constructivist--and constructionist-- approach to learning. Smartphones offered students the potential to develop applications for a context that is both immediate and clearly relevant to the ways in which they utilize and interact with technology. The research was carried out over three full academic years and included 53 student participants. An exploratory case study methodology was used to investigate the efficacy of the approach in helping to overcome the barriers faced by novice programmers. The findings indicate that the approach has merit. The students were motivated and engaged by the learning experience http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) Association for Computing Machinery

Smartphones, Studio-Based Learning, and Scaffolding: Helping Novices Learn to Program

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Publisher
Association for Computing Machinery
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by ACM Inc.
ISSN
1946-6226
DOI
10.1145/2677089
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Smartphones, Studio-Based Learning, and Scaffolding: Helping Novices Learn to Program SUSAN REARDON, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland BRENDAN TANGNEY, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland This article describes how smartphones, studio-based learning, and extensive scaffolding were used in combination in the teaching of a freshman Introduction to Programming course. To reduce cognitive overload, a phased approach was followed in introducing programming concepts and development environments, beginning with the visual programming environment Scratch and culminating with Java development for Android smartphones. Studio-based learning, a pedagogical approach long established in the fields of architecture and design education, was used as the basis for a collaborative social constructivist--and constructionist-- approach to learning. Smartphones offered students the potential to develop applications for a context that is both immediate and clearly relevant to the ways in which they utilize and interact with technology. The research was carried out over three full academic years and included 53 student participants. An exploratory case study methodology was used to investigate the efficacy of the approach in helping to overcome the barriers faced by novice programmers. The findings indicate that the approach has merit. The students were motivated and engaged by the learning experience

Journal

ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE)Association for Computing Machinery

Published: Dec 29, 2014

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