The Effect of Block-Based Programming on The ComputationalThinking Skills of Middle School Students


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Günbatar M. S. , Turan B.

TURKISH ONLINE JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, no.2, pp.335-339, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Journal Name: TURKISH ONLINE JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.335-339
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the effect of the programming instruction process carried out by using mBlock programming tool on the students' computational thinking skills. The study design was one group pre-test-post-test experimental design. Study group was consisted of 82 students enrolled to a secondary school in Edremit district of Van province / Turkey. 39 of the participants were female and 43 of them were male. Participants were 6th grade students in three different classes. Instruction process was leaded in 2017-2018 academic year. MBlock tool was used in computer programming instruction process. Teaching sessions were two hours per week, 12 weeks in total. In the instruction process concepts of software, the problem concept, algorithm concept, algorithm steps belonging to a problem, geometrical shapes in the flow chart, mBlock characters, events & control blocks, coordinate axis & scene section, perception blocks, operator blocks, and variable concepts were handled respectively. Exercises about these subjects were done. Data were collected by Computational Thinking Levels Scale (CTLS) developed by Korkmaz, Çakır & Özden (2015). CTLS has five sub-dimensions, namely, Creativity, Algorithmic thinking, Collaboration, Critical thinking, and Problem solving. The collected data were corresponding to the normal distribution. The data were analyzed through paired samples t tests. According to the findings, post-test scores of the CTLS were statistically higher than the pre-test scores. In addition to this, all scores for sub dimensions statistically differ in favor of post-tests except problem solving dimension. In other words, the development of higher order thinking skills such as computational thinking can be provided with programming courses where block based tools used. In 2018, Problem Solving and Programming Unit were added to Information Technology and Software curriculum in 5th and 6th grades in Turkey. In the lights of the findings, it seems that the decision taken by Turkish Ministry of Education is correct.