Debuggems to Assess Student Learning in E-Textiles

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Debuggems to Assess Student Learning in E-Textiles

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One challenge in assessing students' engineering and programming designs is that the problems are difficult to evaluate with pencil and paper. Projects with multiple types of designs (circuitry, coding, aesthetics) can go wrong in many ways (Resnick, Berg, & Eisenberg, 2000). Identifying, debugging, and solving these problems is at the crux of being able to design computational and material projects. In this poster we analyze high school students' collaborative engagement with a series of isomorphic deconstruction kits (debuggems) developed to assess their learning of coding, circuit design and creation (through sewing) in e-textiles with the LilyPad Arduino. The debuggem was designed based on our observations of common challenges that students faced when designing their own e-textiles projects during 4-week workshops. We videotaped ten students collaborating in pairs as they worked to turn on LEDs in a project strategically designed with problems in poor crafting, non-functional circuitry design and insufficient coding. Analysis includes what problems students struggled the most to solve and common types of problem solving strategies used. The debuggem was successful in that it revealed common problems, allowed for multiple solutions, and capitalized on collaborative learning. As hoped, all students solved most problems but no group solved every problem in the time allotted without help; student pairs also came up with multiple solutions. The findings indicate that deconstruction kits are not only promising tools for evaluating students' learning of designing with e-textiles but also valuable learning tools, especially when peer collaboration is taken into account.


Poster Presented at the Annual Meeting of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), Raleigh, NC

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