May 28, 2024

Investigation of pre-service computer science Teachers’ CS-unplugged design practices

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Abstract

Computer Science Unplugged (CS-Unplugged) has been evolving in computer science education. It is a promising approach especially for introductory programming skills and computer science concepts. The skills of the computer science instructors/teachers, who convert the approach into practice, can be crucial during the preparation of CS-Unplugged activities. In this study, CS-Unplugged activity creation skills of pre-service computer teachers were examined. The participants prepared CS-Unplugged activities for selected topics considering the target learners they selected. The prepared activities were subjected to content analysis. According to the results, it was found that participants were significantly incompetent to design CS-Unplugged activities. They failed to define necessary rationales and resulting context for the activities clearly. Although the activities generally do not include story or game structures, participants expressed that those types of structures could improve their activities in terms of student motivation and retention. On the other hand, different kinds of physical objects were integrated into the activities with necessary links to programming concepts and those activities were found easy to implement. Activity duration was found the most significant force in front of designing activity and grade level and age are the only variables that participants consider to define the context.

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