The effect of CS unplugged activities on middle-school students’ views, attitudes, and intentions regarding computer science
- Rivka Taub
Middle and high school students often hold incorrect views of what computer science (CS) is, and have negative attitudes towards the field. In order to address these difficulties, a series of learning activities called Computer Science Unplugged was developed by Bell et al. These activities expose children to central concepts in CS in an entertaining way, without requiring a computer. Using questionnaires and interviews, we examined the effect of the activities on middle-school students’ views of CS, specifically, on their views of: (a) the nature of CS; (b) the characteristics of computer scientists and work in CS; (c) the variety of employment in CS. The results indicate that although the students generally understood what CS is they perceived the computer as the essence of CS and not primarily as a tool, contrary to the intention of the CS Unplugged activities. We suggest additions to the activities intended to increase the change in the views of CS that students have.
This is the Master research of Rivka Taub.
Links for further reading
- Taub, R., Ben-Ari, M., & Armoni, M. (2009). The effect of CS unplugged on middle-school students’ views of CS. In Proceedings of the 14th Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE’09), Paris, France, 99-103.
- Taub, R., Armoni, M., & Ben-Ari, M. (2012). CS unplugged and middle-school students’ views, attitudes, and intentions regarding CS. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), 12(2), 1-29.