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This program is tentative and subject to change.

Fri 22 Mar 2024 10:45 - 11:10 at Meeting Rooms C120-122 - CS1 Mental Models

We describe a new introductory CS curriculum initiative that uses analogies and active engagement to develop students’ conceptual understanding before applying the concepts to an area of computer science (CS), like programming. We believe that traditional coding approaches to introducing computer science concepts relies on students to build their own conceptual understanding, rather than grounding their understanding of concepts in what they know from everyday experiences. Using constructivism as a foundation for this curriculum initiative, our approach builds a framework for student understanding anchored in the physical world using simple games and stories to stimulate mental engagement through embodied learning.

For example, we teach the concept of abstraction and representation by presenting the game of TicTacToe as an island divided into nine regions, but the middle one you cannot get to by boat, which is the way two teams arrive to the island. After playing the game once and realizing the game is really just TicTacToe, the students understand the example is a representation with modified rules and game pieces. Then, we talk about how the set of rules for a simple game like TicTacToe is an algorithm with instructions for how to play the game, and we use playing the game to explain computation as the execution of an algorithm. Based on observations using analogies and active engagement with students ranging from middle school through first-year university CS classes, we provide many examples explaining how this curriculum initiative is an engaging, effective, and flexible approach for introducing CS concepts.

This program is tentative and subject to change.

Fri 22 Mar

Displayed time zone: Pacific Time (US & Canada) change

10:45 - 12:00
CS1 Mental ModelsPapers at Meeting Rooms C120-122
10:45
25m
Talk
Analogies and Active Engagement: Introducing Computer ScienceCC
Papers
Jennifer Parham-Mocello Oregon State University, Martin Erwig Oregon State University, Margaret Niess Oregon State University
11:10
25m
Talk
Conceptual Metaphor Theory in Action: Insights into Student Understanding of Computing ConceptsCC
Papers
Colton Harper University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Keith Tran North Carolina State University, Steve Cooper University of Nebraska, Lincoln
11:35
25m
Talk
The Correctness of the Mental Model of Arrays After Instruction for CS1 StudentsCC
Papers
Syeda Fatema Mazumder University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones University of North Carolina Charlotte