Tangible objects or simulations in CSE?


This talk first introduces some fundamental learning theories that are commonly used in the learning sciences before focusing on Computer Science Education and the use of programming tangible objects to learn elementary programming concepts.

Lab seminar
ISEP, Paris

I have been invited to give a talk at ISEP during a research seminar open to faculty members, students, and alumni.

The topic of this presentation concerns Computer Science Education (CSE), and more particularly, the effects of using a tangible object or an equivalent digital simulation when learning elementary concepts of Computer Science (CS).

In this project, led by my research student Grégoire Fessard, we are exploring how one environment or the other influence the learning and understanding of variables, conditional structures, and loops. Because this project addresses programming beginners, we have implemented a Web interface that allows its user to write small programs using a block-based programming environment. By executing these programs, learners can program either a BBC micro:bit or a digital simulation displayed on the computer screen.

At the time of writing, this project is still on-going as we are preparing up for conducting experiments in December.

Patrick Wang
Associate Professor of Computer Science

Interested in how people learn CS, among other things.