Use Hopscotch to Develop Positive Attitudes Toward Programming For Elementary School Students
Keywords:Computer science, block-based programming, elementary school students, attitudes toward programming, Hopscotch
With the advancement in technology and the emphasis on computer science education, there has been a strong push for more widespread programming instruction at K-12 and higher education levels. Existing research has mostly focused on students at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Little work has involved students at the elementary school age, which has been considered a critical age to cultivate an interest in programming. The current study aimed to investigate the effects of a block-based programming interface (e.g., Hopscotch) on elementary school students’ attitudes toward programming. In this study, eighteen elementary school students in 4th -5th grades participated in a programming curriculum for about seven weeks in the US. A survey on attitude toward programming was distributed before and after the curriculum, to explore the change in attitudes toward programming. Students’ perception toward the block-based programming interface (e.g., Hopscotch) was also examined after the curricular activities. Students’ activities in lessons and artifacts from the culminating project were observed. The findings indicated that elementary school students had a positive perception of programming in the block-based programming interface. Also, the block-based programming activities contributed to more positive attitudes toward programming. Implications and limitations of the study were discussed.
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