Computational Design Thinking and Physical Computing: Preliminary Observations of a Pilot Study
2. Research Design
- How the planned activities will be perceived by the audience?
- What kinds of instruments (software/hardware) attract more attention?
- How may the skills deployment during the transfer between virtual and physical realms be assisted and optimized?
3.1. Coding and Computational Skills Development
3.2. Educational Robotics
3.2.1. Background Activities
3.2.2. Introductory Microcontroller Programming
3.3. Data Collection Tools
- the programming level evolution;
- the motivation for coding;
- the programming environment usability.
- the ease of understanding of the concepts to be studied for the target group;
- the achievement of the predefined learning goals for each assignment and the corresponding level of performance;
- the effectiveness of the combination of both methods (CT and ER) and equipment used during the whole designed training path.
4.1. COVID-19 Emergency Impact
4.2. Robot Assembly and Programming
5.1. The Results of Data Analysis
- I am not motivated;
- I want to succeed in classroom programming;
- I want to demonstrate to other students that I can code;
- I want to pursue a career in programming;
- I enjoy solving logic problems and puzzles.
- the activities held were perceived quite positively, given the majority had expressed the desire to be involved in such kind of events and the level of the confidence revealed during the first phase (Figure 13); as well as the characteristic tenacity in achieving the set goal (an IR-controlled robot car assembly and programming, Figure 11);
- the typical features of the most attractive instruments are the following: immediate feedback (micro:bit , PhET interactive simulations ); entertaining/gaming context (“Crack the circuit” , building the resistor networks in groups (Figure 9b)); and visual interactivity (PhET interactive simulations ).
Conflicts of Interest
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|Stage||Concepts Covered/Activities Performed||Examples of Coding Projects Executed During the Stage|
|1||A brief introduction to Arduino IDE; The concept of the procedure; The basic components of the Arduino code (void setup(); void loop() supported with the micro:bit environment.||LED blinking|
|2||Assembling the robot chassis; motor movement inversion through the power supply polarity altering.|
Visualizing the polarities alternation through the LEDs connected to a couple of Arduino digital outputs. Underlining the difference between the power necessary to control the digital inputs of L298N and the power supplied to move the motors through the corresponding measurements demonstration.
|Two LEDs alternating blinking, connected to a couple of Arduino outputs (conceptual demonstration of the motors polarity changing)|
|3||Working on different combinations of the controlling outputs necessary to move the robot forward, backward, left and right. Adjusting eventual discrepancies between the software procedures (corresponding to left, right, forward, and backward) and the actual physical movement.||Forming the corresponding procedures: left(); right(); forward(); backward(), stop().|
|4||Introducing the IR remote control, a concept of a library, and remote controller instructions decoding procedure.||Working with the IR remote controller, assignment of the HEX codes to the controlling buttons.|
|5||Addition of the home-brought auxiliary IR remote controllers to the control of the robotic car; introduction of the OR logical operator.||Putting all together. Control of the car with a couple of different remote controllers.|
|No. of a Student||I Have Never Used Coding or Programming Before||I Was/Am a Beginner Programmer (Have Basic Ideas)||I Could/Can Code Simple Programs||I Was/Am Able to Program (Create a Complete Program)|
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Alden, D.; Tramonti, M. Computational Design Thinking and Physical Computing: Preliminary Observations of a Pilot Study. Robotics 2020, 9, 71. https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9030071
Alden D, Tramonti M. Computational Design Thinking and Physical Computing: Preliminary Observations of a Pilot Study. Robotics. 2020; 9(3):71. https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9030071Chicago/Turabian Style
Alden, Dochshanov, and Michela Tramonti. 2020. "Computational Design Thinking and Physical Computing: Preliminary Observations of a Pilot Study" Robotics 9, no. 3: 71. https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9030071