Computer Science Education
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Background and Context: While assessment of computational thinking concepts, practices, and perspectives is at the forefront of K-12 CS education, supporting student communication about computation has received relatively little attention.
Objective: To examine the usability of process-based portfolios for capturing students’ communication about their computational practices regarding the process of making electronic textile projects.
Method: We examined the portfolios of 248 high school students in 15 introductory CS classrooms from largely underserved communities, using a formal rubric (top-down) to code computational communication and an open-coding scheme (bottom-up) to identify computational practices described.
Findings: Students demonstrated stronger abilities to communicate about computation using text than visuals. They also reported under-assessed CT practices like debugging, iterating, and collaborating. Students of experienced e-textile teachers performed substantially better than those with novice e-textile teachers.
Implications: Portfolios provide a viable addition to traditional performance or survey assessments and meet a need to promote communication skills.
Fields, D. A., Lui, D., Kafai, Y. B., Jayathirtha, G., Walker, J. T., & Shaw, M.* (2021). Communicating about computational thinking: Understanding affordances of portfolios for assessing high school students’ computational thinking and participation practices. Computer Science Education.
Available for download on Thursday, July 14, 2022