Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Breanne K. Litts (Committee Chair)


Breanne K. Litts


Mimi Recker


Ryan Moeller


In this thesis, I explore how design scaffolds, or (i.e., intellectual supports) can assist learners engaging with computational making processes. Computational making combines programming with artifact production. Due to the complexity of tasks involved in computational making, there is an increasing need to explore and develop support systems for learners engaging with computational making.

With $3,000 funding from Utah State University’s College of Education and Human Services, an undergraduate researcher and I, who both have experience with youth and computational making research, explored how design scaffolds impact youth engaging with computational making processes. To do so, we held a workshop where 11 learners (11 female, ages 11-16) used ARIS, a platform designed for non-programmers to create mobile games. In addition, we interviewed five ARIS designers who were able to evaluate our design scaffolds.

We provide insights for improving the use of design scaffolds in computational making with ARIS specifically that also apply broadly to computational making processes. Moreover, we developed an ARIS course that teaches educators to use a design scaffold tool for ARIS. This research provides immediate benefits for educators who access the ARIS course and researchers seeking to improve upon design scaffold research for computational making processes.



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