Semiotic Traces of Computational Thinking Acquisition

  • Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza
  • Ana Cristina Bicharra Garcia
  • Cleyton Slaviero
  • Higor Pinto
  • Alexander Repenning
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6654)

Abstract

Computational thinking involves many different abilities, including being able to represent real and imaginary worlds in highly constrained computer languages. These typically support very selective kinds of perspectives, abstractions and articulation compared to the unlimited possibilities provided by natural languages. This paper reports findings from a qualitative empirical study with novice programmers, carried out with AgentSheets in a Brazilian public school. The driving research question was: How do meanings expressed in natural language narratives relate to computational constructs expressed in programs produced by novices? We used semiotic and linguistic analysis to compare meaning representations in natural and artificial texts (game descriptions in Brazilian Portuguese and Visual AgenTalk code). We looked for recurring relations and what they might mean in the context of computational thinking education. Our findings suggest that the semiotic richness of AgentSheets can be explored to introduce different aspects of computational thinking in principled and theoretically-informed ways.

Keywords

Computational thinking education End user programming languages Semiotic analysis Discourse analysis AgentSheets 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Basawapatna, A.R., Koh, K.H., Repenning, A.: Using scalable game design to teach computer science from middle school to graduate school. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2010), pp. 224–228. ACM, New York (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Blackwell, A.F., Green, T.R.G.: Notational systems - the Cognitive Dimensions of Notations framework. In: Carroll, J.M. (ed.) HCI Models, Theories and Frameworks: Toward a Multidisciplinary Science, pp. 103–134. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cooper, S., Dann, W., Pausch, R.: Teaching objects-first in introductory computer science. In: Proceedings of the 34th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE 2003), pp. 191–195. ACM, New York (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    de Souza, C.S., Sedig, K.: Semiotic considerations on direct concept manipulation as a distinct interface style for learnware. In: IHC 2001 - IV Workshop de Fatores Humanos em Sistemas Computacionais, pp. 229–241. SBC, Porto Alegre (2001)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Elrad, T., Filman, R.E., Bader, A.: Aspect-Oriented Programming. Communications of the ACM 44(10), 28–32 (2001)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Frasca, G.: Simulation versus narrative: introduction to ludology. In: Wolf, M.J.P., Perron, B. (eds.) The Video Game Theory Reader, pp. 221–235. Routledge, London (2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Juul, J.: Games telling Stories? A brief note on games and narratives. Game Studies 1(1) (2001), Online at http://www.gamestudies.org/0101/juul-gts/
  8. 8.
    Kelleher, C., Pausch, R.: Using storytelling to motivate programming. Communications of the ACM 50(7), 58–64 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Maloney, J.H., Peppler, K., Kafai, Y., Resnick, M., Rusk, N.: Programming by choice: urban youth learning programming with scratch. SIGCSE Bulletin 40(1), 367–371 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mor, Y., Noss, R.: Programming as mathematical narrative. Int. J. Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning 18(2), 214–233 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Myers, B.A., Pane, J.F., Ko, A.: Natural programming languages and environments. Communications of the ACM 47(9), 47–52 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    National Research Council Committee for the Workshops on Computational Thinking (2010) Report of a Workshop on The Scope and Nature of Computational Thinking, Online at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12840.html
  13. 13.
    Ogden, C.K., Richards, I.A.: The meaning of meaning, 8th edn. Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., New York (1989)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pane, J.F., Ratanamahatana, C.A., Myers, B.A.: Studying the language and structure in non-programmers’ solutions to programming problems. Int. J. Human-Computer Studies 54(2), 237–264 (2001)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Peirce, C.S.: The Essential Peirce, Selected Philosophical Writings, vol. 1, 2, Edited by Houser, N., Kloesel, C.J.W. Indiana University Press, Bloomington (1992, 1998)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Repenning, A., Ioannidou, A.: Agent-Based End-User Development. Communications of the ACM 47(9), 43–46 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Repenning, A.: Collaborative diffusion: programming antiobjects. In: Companion to the 21st ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Object-Oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA 2006), pp. 574–585. ACM, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Repenning, A., Webb, D., Ioannidou, A.: Scalable game design and the development of a checklist for getting computational thinking into public schools. In: Proceedings of the 41st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE 2010), pp. 265–269. ACM, New York (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Resnick, M., Maloney, J., Monroy-Hernández, A., Rusk, N., Eastmond, E., Brennan, K., Millner, A., Rosenbaum, E., Silver, J., Silverman, B., Kafai, Y.: Scratch: programming for all. Commununications of the ACM 52(11), 60–67 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sedig, K., Klawe, M., Westrom, M.: The Role of Interface Manipulation Style and Scaffolding on Cognition and Concept Learning in Learnware. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 8(1), 34–59 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza
    • 1
  • Ana Cristina Bicharra Garcia
    • 2
  • Cleyton Slaviero
    • 2
  • Higor Pinto
    • 2
  • Alexander Repenning
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de InformáticaPUC-RioRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de ComputaçãoUFFNiteróiBrazil
  3. 3.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

Personalised recommendations