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Open AccessArticle

Comparing the Effectiveness of Scratch and App Inventor with Regard to Learning Computational Thinking Concepts

by Youngki Park 1 and Youhyun Shin 2,*
1
Department of Computer Education, Chuncheon National University of Education, Chuncheon 24328, Korea
2
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(11), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8111269
Received: 22 September 2019 / Revised: 21 October 2019 / Accepted: 30 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Computer Science & Engineering)
Scratch and App Inventor are two of the most widely used block-based programming languages for young students. These are educational languages which allow students to program easily by dragging and dropping their code blocks. One question that arises in relation to these educational languages is which of them would be more helpful in fostering computational thinking. It is difficult to answer this question because each language has its own advantages. In this paper, we propose a novel rubric based on Dr. Scratch for assessing both Scratch and App Inventor projects in terms of computational thinking concept learning. We crawled teachers’ and students’ open and popular projects and automatically calculated their effectiveness scores with regard to learning computational thinking concepts based on our rubric. The experimental results show that (1) Scratch projects scored higher on average in Parallelism, Synchronization and Flow Control, while App Inventor projects scored higher on average in User Interactivity and Data Representation. The results also show that (2) in many cases, large programs with numerous lines of code scored high in all areas of computational thinking concepts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Scratch; App Inventor; computational thinking; educational programming languages Scratch; App Inventor; computational thinking; educational programming languages
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Park, Y.; Shin, Y. Comparing the Effectiveness of Scratch and App Inventor with Regard to Learning Computational Thinking Concepts. Electronics 2019, 8, 1269.

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