Advertisement

Visualization of Program Behaviors: Physical Robots Versus Robot Simulators

  • Cheng-Chih Wu
  • I-Chih Tseng
  • Shih-Lung Huang
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5090)

Abstract

This study compared the effects of using physical robots (LEGO Mindstorms) and robot simulators (LEGO Mindstorms Simulator, LMS) in teaching novice programming concepts. A quasi-experiment design was implemented in this study. Four classes of high school students, totaling 151 students, participated in the study. Two classes of 76 students used the physical robots to learn programming, whereas the other two classes of 75 students used LMS. The students’ post-experiment achievement tests, replies on questionnaires, and focus group interview data were collected and analyzed. The findings of the study were: (1) no significant difference was found on students’ performance between the physical robot group and the simulator group, (2) the physical robot group demonstrated more positive attitudes toward the learning activities, and (3) the physical robot group indicated that they could better imagine the program behaviors.

Keywords

Programming Robot Simulator LEGO Mindstorms 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Lawhead, P.B., Duncan, M.E., Bland, C.G., Goldweber, M., Schep, M., Barnes, D.J., et al.: A Road Map for Teaching Introductory Programming Using LEGO© Mindstorms Robots. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin 35(2), 191–201 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Becker, B.W.: Teaching CS1 with Karel the Robot in Java. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin 33(1), 50–54 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schep, M., McMulty, N.: Use of LEGO Mindstorms Kits in Introductory Programming Classes: A tutorial. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges 18, 323–327 (2002)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Linder, S.P., Nestrick, B.E., Mulders, S., Lavelle, C.L.: Facilitating Active Learning with Inexpensive Mobile Robots. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges 16, 21–33 (2001)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Klassner, F., Anderson, S.D.: LEGO Mindstorms: Not just for K-12 Anymore. Robotics & Automation Magazine 10, 12–18 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    ACM/IEEE Task Force: Computing Curricula 2001. ACM/IEEE (2001)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brusilovsky, P., Calabrese, E., Hvorecky, J., Kouchnirenko, A., Miller, P.: Mini-languages: A Way to Learn Programming Principles. Education and Information Technologies 2, 65–83 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Papert, S.: Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. The Harvester Press Ltd. (1980)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lahtinen, E., Ala-Mutka, K., Jarvinen, H.-M.: A Study of the Difficulties of Novice Programmers. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin 37(3), 14–18 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dagdilelis, V., Sartatzemi, M., Kagani, K.: Teaching (with) Robots in Secondary Schools: Some New and Not-So-New Pedagogical Problems. In: Fifth IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT), pp. 757–761 (2005)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Flowers, T.R., Gossett, K.A.: Teaching Problem Solving, Computing, and Information Technology with robots. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges 17, 45–55 (2002)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fagin, B.S., Merkle, L.: Quantitative Analysis of the Effects of Robots on Introductory Computer Science Education. Journal on Educational Resources in Computing (JERIC) 2, 1–17 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bagnall, B.: Core LEGO Mindstorms Programming. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs (2002)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheng-Chih Wu
    • 1
  • I-Chih Tseng
    • 1
  • Shih-Lung Huang
    • 2
  1. 1.Information and Computer EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Taipei Municipal Dali High SchoolTaipeiTaiwan

Personalised recommendations