Blocks-based programming environments are productive environments for novice programmers because they offer opportunities to minimize syntax errors and help novices quickly feel a sense of accomplishment. This early sense of accomplishment, however, can lead to a learner’s conflation of their own achievement with complete mastery of the programming environment, even when that is not the likely case. Introductory programming initiatives where novices engage with Scratch for only a couple weeks before trying something else also contribute to this issue, and in our own experiences we’ve heard students say things like, “I did Scratch,” or “I’m done with Scratch,” even though their computational fluency may be somewhat limited. This misconception of “done-ness” is often challenged when learners transition to other programming languages. How do we as learning designers create opportunities for novice engagement with some of the more complex computational concepts which are available but underutilized in Scratch? In this talk, we will engage with questions about how to design activities which encourage learners to explore computational concepts they might be unfamiliar with (such as variables, lists, and string manipulation), through the context of Getting Unstuck, a summer 2018 21-day creative programming challenge for K-12 educators.

Sun 4 Nov

blocks+-2018-papers
09:00 - 10:00: BLOCKS+ - Limits People Reach & How to Get Past Them at Beacon Hill
blocks+-2018-papers09:00 - 09:05
Talk
Karen H. JinUniversity of New Hampshire
Pre-print
blocks+-2018-papers09:05 - 09:10
Talk
Audrey SeoWellesley College
Pre-print
blocks+-2018-papers09:10 - 09:15
Talk
Paulina HaduongHarvard Graduate School of Education, Karen BrennanHarvard Graduate School of Education
Pre-print
blocks+-2018-papers09:15 - 09:20
Talk
Michelle IchincoUniversity of Massachusetts Lowell, Caitlin KelleherWashington University in St. Louis
Pre-print
blocks+-2018-papers09:20 - 09:25
Talk
Evan W PattonMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Mark ShermanCERT, Michael TissenbaumUniversity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Pre-print
blocks+-2018-papers09:25 - 09:40
Other
blocks+-2018-papers09:40 - 10:00
Other