Developing and Assessing Computational Thinking in Secondary Education using a TPACK Guided Scratch Visual Execution Environment
Effective and reliable assessment approaches to computational thinking in secondary education are in demand. This paper uses a guided technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) framework, incorporating a visual execution environment (VEE) and Scratch project for secondary school students as a method to teach and assess computational thinking. The objective is to investigate if computational thinking and programming concepts can be improved upon following this method, and if the K-12 children are able to improve their computational thinking skills. The research study was conducted over 2 years in a school setting using the guided VEE and project developed following the dimensions of Computational Thinking process. The project participants came from two cohorts, an after-school programming camp and an in-school environment. Data was collected over two academic years and a quasi-experimental procedure with pre- and post-test was followed. The results demonstrate knowledge gain on computational and programming concepts and encourages us to convey how students translate (as opposed to transfer) their computational thinking experiences into reality. The results indicate the students achieved significant improvement in their computational thinking development.
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