Topical Collection "Promotion of Computational Thinking and Informatics Education in Pre-University Studies"

Editor

Dr. Francisco José García-Peñalvo
Website
Collection Editor
Computer Science Department. Research Institute for Educational Sciences. GRIAL Research Group. University of Salamanca. Faculty of Sciences, Plaza de los Caídos S/N, 37008, Salamanca, Spain
Interests: STEM; computational thinking
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleageus,

Digital competence is a key competence proposed by the European Union. Having basic computer skills is a necessity in today's society, which adds to other basic knowledge, such as reading, writing or performing arithmetic operations.

The development of any key non-transversal competence requires independent subjects with a mandatory character, such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Natural Sciences, for example.

Informatics constitutes a mixed discipline with elements of science and technology. Therefore, its learning requires an independent subject from others with which it has a relationship but whose contents are different, such as Mathematics or Technology. Moreover, this subject-based approach should be combined with other items from a pedagogical toolbox such as the computational thinking.

Purpose of the collection

The purpose of this Special Issue is to help to identify good practices and/or particular concerns that may contribute the development of the comptational thinking practices and curricular approaches to teach informatics in the different levels of the pre-university studies, with a special emphasis in bringing with STEM reinforcement actions.

Prof. Dr. Francisco José García-Peñalvo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Informatics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Computational thinking
  • Informatics education
  • STEM
  • Pre-university studies
  • PBL

Published Papers (2 papers)

2019

Open AccessArticle
Educational Robotics in Primary School: Measuring the Development of Computational Thinking Skills with the Bebras Tasks
Informatics 2019, 6(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6040043 - 01 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Research has shown that educational robotics can be an effective tool to increase students’ acquisition of knowledge in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and promote, at the same time, a progression in the development of computational thinking (CT) skills in [...] Read more.
Research has shown that educational robotics can be an effective tool to increase students’ acquisition of knowledge in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and promote, at the same time, a progression in the development of computational thinking (CT) skills in K–12 (kindergarten to 12th grade) education. Within this research field, the present study first sought to assess the effect of a robotics laboratory on the acquisition of CT-related skills in primary school children. The study also aimed to compare the magnitude of the effect of the laboratory across third- and fourth-grade students. For the purpose of the study, a quasi-experimental post-test-only design was adopted, and a group of 51 students, from third- and fourth-grade classrooms, participating in the robotics laboratories, were compared to a control group of 32 students from classrooms of the same grades. A set of Bebras tasks was selected as an overall measure of CT skills and was administered to children in both the intervention and control groups. Overall, the results showed that programming robotics artefacts may exert a positive impact on students’ learning of computational thinking skills. Moreover, the effect of the intervention was found to be greater among third-grade children. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Computational Thinking and Down Syndrome: An Exploratory Study Using the KIBO Robot
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020025 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Computational thinking and coding are key competencies in the 21st century. People with Down syndrome need to be part of this new literacy. For this reason, in this work, we present an exploratory study carried out with students with Down syndrome with cognitive [...] Read more.
Computational thinking and coding are key competencies in the 21st century. People with Down syndrome need to be part of this new literacy. For this reason, in this work, we present an exploratory study carried out with students with Down syndrome with cognitive ages of 3–6 years old using a tangible robot We applied the observational method during the sessions to analyze the participants’ emotional states, engagement, and comprehension of the programming sequences. Results show that people with cognitive disabilities can acquire basic programming and computational skills using tangible robots such as KIBO. Full article
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