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Thursday, October 5 • 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Computational Thinking in Zoombinis Gameplay

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The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis was the first in a series of three award-winning computational thinking games developed in the mid-1990s. In August 2015, TERC and partners re-launched Zoombinis for tablets and desktops for the commercial market. The Educational Gaming Environments (EdGE) group at TERC is studying how playing Zoombinis can help upper elementary and middle school learners build implicit computational thinking (CT) skills (e.g., problem decomposition, pattern recognition, algorithmic thinking, abstraction) that teachers can leverage in formal STEM instruction. Building on prior work with the digital science learning game, Impulse, we will combine video analysis and educational data mining to identify implicit computational thinking that emerges through gameplay (Rowe, Baker, & Asbell-Clarke, 2015). 

This spotlight presentation will report results from the first phase of this process:  developing a human labeling system for evidence of specific CT skills in five Zoombinis puzzle by analyzing video data from a sample of 70+ elementary learners in grades 3-5, middle school learners, and computer scientists. This spotlight presentation will include (1) audience gameplay; (2) discussion of video examples of the types of implicit computational thinking children and computer scientists exhibit through Zoombinis gameplay; and (3) provide an overview of learning analytics methods for combining these human-labeled video data with game log data from these learners and computer scientists to create systematic, automated ways of predicting implicit computational thinking skills from gameplay behaviors in large player audiences.

avatar for Elizabeth Rowe

Elizabeth Rowe

Director of Research, EdGE at TERC

Thursday October 5, 2017 4:00pm - 4:30pm PDT
Pacific Ballroom A