Projects per year
Abstract / Description of output
This paper presents the findings of a joint project with Girlguiding UK to design activities to promote computational thinking. The purpose of the project was to enable many girls to learn key computational thinking concepts from inclusive, high-quality materials. We producedl ow cost, low tech computational thinking activities to be used in Girlguiding meetings, supported by adult volunteers who may not possess computing expertise. Our pedagogical focus centred on developing enjoyable collaborative activities for girls and women aged 5-25to facilitate learning about the flow of control, decomposition, structured information, sorting, and encoding information. In this paper, we report the findings from an evaluation of the material with 483 girls to evaluate the suitability of the materials from the perspective of learners and leaders. The materials were regarded as suitable by Girlguiding in the sense that the girls found them to be enjoyable and challenging, while the leaders found them to be adaptable and offering scope for leadership opportunities.We also consider implications about the large scale roll-out of computer science education materials within informal learning environments, in partnership with a voluntary organisation.There are inherent challenges associated with including computer science education as part of the wider experiences offered by a youth organisation, particularly because of the lack of computational expertise among volunteers. However, partnership working between computer science education researchers and voluntary organisations offers a route to bring computing to a wider variety of learners in a supportive setting, as well as opportunities for researchers to learn more about inclusive educational practices.