1. Jodi Asbell-Clarke
  2. https://edge.terc.edu/
  3. Director, EdGE at TERC
  4. Zoombinis: The Implementation Research Study of a Computational Thinking Game for Upper Elementary and Middle School Learners
  5. https://edge.terc.edu/
  6. TERC
  1. Erin Bardar
  2. Bridge Materials Lead
  3. Zoombinis: The Implementation Research Study of a Computational Thinking Game for Upper Elementary and Middle School Learners
  4. https://edge.terc.edu/
  5. TERC, EdGE
  1. Teon Edwards
  2. Co-founder of EdGE, Game Designer, and Production Manager
  3. Zoombinis: The Implementation Research Study of a Computational Thinking Game for Upper Elementary and Middle School Learners
  4. https://edge.terc.edu/
  5. TERC, EdGE
  1. Barb MacEachern
  2. https://edge.terc.edu/display/EDGE/Barb+MacEachern
  3. Director of Outreach, EdGE at TERC
  4. Zoombinis: The Implementation Research Study of a Computational Thinking Game for Upper Elementary and Middle School Learners
  5. https://edge.terc.edu/
  6. TERC
  1. Kelly Paulson
  2. Zoombinis: The Implementation Research Study of a Computational Thinking Game for Upper Elementary and Middle School Learners
  3. https://edge.terc.edu/
  4. TERC
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Barb MacEachern

    Barb MacEachern

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 07:09 a.m.

    Welcome to our 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase submission! We hope you enjoy this quick snapshot into the Implementation Study of the wonderful CT game, Zoombinis. We are currently wrapping up our work with our partner teachers and their students and will soon move into the data analysis phase. We are learning so much about our work, game based engagement, and computational thinking throughout this incredible journey! We hope your interest is piqued and you engage in conversation with us over the next week. Thank for you for time and interest. Can't wait to see the comments/questions you have! 

  • Icon for: Maureen Tumenas

    Maureen Tumenas

    K-12 Teacher
    May 16, 2018 | 09:56 p.m.

    I love this idea!  I used to do an afterschool Zoombini contest at my former school. Do you need more classes to test this? I asked my third grade teachers if they were up for this and they were so excited!.  I am a tech integration specialist/STEAM lab at a K-6 school ~300 kids.  

    We would love to learn more about your project and get involved!

     

    Maureen Tumenas

  • Icon for: Barb MacEachern

    Barb MacEachern

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2018 | 07:22 a.m.

    Hi Maureen. Love the Zoombinis enthusiasm! We are currently wrapping up the implementation phase of our study but send me and email and we can investigate possibilities. barb_maceachern@terc.edu

  • Icon for: Daniel Damelin

    Daniel Damelin

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 02:28 p.m.

    For people trying to find a scenario where understanding what is happening naturally leads to engaging in computational thinking, Zoombinis puzzles provide a great context.

    What types of classrooms are you working in an how does the context influence how teachers make that bridge? It looks like you may be working in computer science/technology classes as well as math classes.

  • Icon for: Barb MacEachern

    Barb MacEachern

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 03:07 p.m.

    Thanks for your question, Daniel! Currently, we are partnering with teachers within a wide variety of classroom settings. We have math specialist, tech integration specialists, elementary generalists who connect Zoombinis to both math and science, middle school technology specialists, middle school engineering and robotics, just to name a few. There is a base line common ground across all of our partner teachers, they integrate computational thinking into their classes or they teach computational thinking units (mostly coding). We're focusing on 4 pattern recognition, problem decomposition, algorithm design and abstraction. So, in theory, we the teachers are in a place where they can make the connections and help build a bridge or use the bridging that we provide for several of the Zoombinis puzzles. 

    We're still in the implementation phase of the study and will have much more information around how classroom context influences how teachers are able to bridge game play with their curriculum. Stay tuned...

     

  • Icon for: Carrie Willis

    Carrie Willis

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 06:18 p.m.

    Game-based engagement is definitely a hot topic right now! I love the integration with Scratch. 

  • Icon for: Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 01:11 p.m.

    Thanks Carrie. Many teachers are using Scratch but don't have a CT foundation underneath the coding activity so we are excited to see how to build this bridge.

  • May 16, 2018 | 08:44 a.m.

    What a great extension of Zoombinis puzzles!  The game is terrific in terms of learning logic and computational thinking, and you've mined it for so much more.  I especially like the physical acting out of the puzzles.  Scratch extends the work very well. 

    I know it's a research project, but are you disseminating any of the activities themselves?  We'd certainly like to see that!  

  • Icon for: Erin Bardar

    Erin Bardar

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 11:19 a.m.

    Thanks, Jan! For right now, the classroom activities are only available to our research study teachers. We hope to share them with a wider audience after the study is over, but details of exactly how they will be shared are still undetermined at this point.

  • Icon for: Jessica Hammer

    Jessica Hammer

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2018 | 09:44 a.m.

    Looks fantastic! How are you adapting your activities to serve younger (e.g. grade 3) and older (e.g. grade 8) students? Or is the teacher doing most of the adaptation to student level and abilities in real-time?

  • Icon for: Erin Bardar

    Erin Bardar

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 11:15 a.m.

    Thanks, Jessica! We've developed a single set of classroom activities, which we think will (for the most part) work across the grade levels, at least as a starting point. We tried to offer a wide variety of activity types (online, up-and-moving, etc.) and align activities to standards so that teachers can choose what they find most appropriate for their students' grade and skill levels. We also encourage teachers to adapt the activities as they see fit and to share their modifications with us in their classroom logs as well as with other teachers in our study through our Google+ community. Feedback from our teachers on the materials so far has been positive for students across the entire grade/age span.   

  • Icon for: Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 01:14 p.m.

    And following up on Erin's response, in a separate CSforALL project called CodePlay, we are building a Playlist generator that will create sequences (playlists) of CT activities that are differentiated by subject area, grade level, activity type (e.g. offline, kinesthetic), and eventually by students' individual demonstrated implicit CT knowledge in environments like Zoombinis.

  • May 16, 2018 | 10:26 a.m.

    Hi! Bringing the virtual learning into the physical world is an exciting direction to take Zoombinis. Could you talk a little about the guiding principles or professional development your teachers have received thus far? How do they know what materials to use (or how or how much)? Did you have ideas going in about which materials/components would be the most impactful, engaging, or utilized?

  • Icon for: Erin Bardar

    Erin Bardar

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 11:02 a.m.

    Hi Mari,

    Great questions! We don't have a formal professional development component of this project, but we have several mechanisms in place for supporting our research study teachers as they implement the Zoombinis game and bridge activities. The bridge activities are organized by Zoombinis puzzle and are tagged with relevant content standards (NGSS, Common Core Math, and CSTA's K-12 Interim CS Standards), the CT skills highlighted in the activity, and the type of activity (online, hands-on, up-and-moving, etc.). Each teacher has an EdGE team member "buddy" to help them plan out which activities to use and to answer questions about content and technical issues throughout their participation. We also have a Google+ community for our teachers to share ideas and materials as well as monthly video calls with teachers and EdGE team members to discuss how things are going in the classroom and what successes and challenges they have encountered using the game and classroom activities. For the study, we have asked that teachers devote a minimum of 10 classroom hours teaching, discussing, and/or doing activities that support computational thinking, including Zoombinis gameplay and bridge activities. The teachers keep logs to document what they do in class and how much time they spend on different types of activities so that our researchers can determine how different implementation strategies impact development of students' CT skills.  

  • May 16, 2018 | 11:31 a.m.

    I'm eager to learn more about how contextualization of the classroom influences what teachers and students gain from this experience. So, that leads me to "How and what are you assessing?" It looks like from a response above that you are looking at measuring pattern recognition, problem decomposition, algorithm design and abstraction --> what tools are you using to measure growth? And, assuming some of these skills are already being taught and gained in contextualized instruction such as math and science, how do you tease out what impact the game has over CT already embedded in other content areas?

  • Icon for: Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 01:19 p.m.

    Hi Rebecca! We are using the students' own gameplay, the patterns of behaviors they exhibit as they solve the puzzles, as implicit assessments of their CT. We then watch how that changes over time. We compare those results to pre/post online assessments we've developed and validated with Val Shute and her colleagues at Empirical Games. We are using information about the extent of game play and the extent of Zoombinis related bridging activities in class as variables to see how they impact students' learning - so we can hopefully tease out how much those variables impact their learning. I hope that clears it up for you :)

     

  • Icon for: James Diamond

    James Diamond

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2018 | 12:11 p.m.

    Hi all—This is very exciting, and I love the video! Have you ever had teachers ask about the evidence for how the gameplay is an indicator of student learning? (Or, I’m asking anyway…). That might be helpful if a teacher wanted to think about asking students to replay parts of the game if a student seems to be struggling with a particular CT skill. 

    I’d love to talk more at some point about whether and how you’re doing something like that, as my team and I are working on a DRK-12 in which we’re trying to help teachers make connections between the game play and the targeted learning objectives.

    Great job!

  • Icon for: Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 02:12 p.m.

    Hey Jim! yes we are doing a lot of work with teachers about how they connect CT in games with classroom activity. Let's definitely talk more about the DRK12. Email me at jodi_asbell-clarke@terc.edu and we can set up a time. 

  • Icon for: Joseph Reilly

    Joseph Reilly

    Graduate Student
    May 18, 2018 | 02:52 p.m.

    Very interesting! The near transfer of skills learned in game to other parts of the classroom is too often ignored or assumed without evidence. In regards to the detectors of implicit learning, how similar are your approaches to those you utilized with Impulse? I'm interested in stealth assessment and the ECgD framework so I was curious if you were utilizing a similar method of hand coding videos, engineering features from the log files, then testing different detector algorithms. While the bottom-up approach makes sense, re-engineering these features for each game must be time consuming. Thank you!

  • Icon for: Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 12:38 p.m.

    Hi Joseph - while not exactly like ECgD, because we are more emergent, we end up with a similar result. We start by observing and recording the gameplay of about 70+ players at all different levels to get a good sampling of strategies used to solve the puzzles. We then distill the data logs to provide features that can be mined to automate the detection of these strategies....so it is not exactly bottom-up either. We build detectors based on the groundtruth of extensive observation and human-labelling. The labelling does take a lot of time, but then it can be replicated and scaled to much greater numbers....I hope that answers your question!

  • Icon for: Shari Metcalf

    Shari Metcalf

    Researcher
    May 20, 2018 | 12:38 p.m.

    I've been a Zoombinis fan since it first came out, and remember getting it for my nephews when they were growing up. I love that you're doing research with it now, and I think it's a great springboard for teaching about computational thinking.

    I was wondering how the data mining work is going, and what you've been able to find out so far about kids game play strategies, and to what extent you're able to identify or evaluate through log files the computational thinking skills you've described.

  • Icon for: Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Jodi Asbell-clarke

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 12:39 p.m.

    Hey Shari - we have labelled two of the four puzzles so far and are reaching very good reliability - that part does take a while. We expect to be done with all four of the puzzles we are studying by mid Fall. Thanks for your interest!! :)

     

  • Small default profile

    Trevor Haney

    Graduate Student
    May 20, 2018 | 07:35 p.m.

    I have always enjoyed Zoombinis and had them growing up. I think it is very important to make learning fun and exciting and I can’t imagine a better way to do it than with Zoombinis. I really like the acting out of the puzzles so the learner can have even more fun and interaction with the project. Do you believe that this style of learning can, and should be implemented at a high school level ? If it was to be introduced at the high school level what would be different if anything ?

  • Icon for: Barb MacEachern

    Barb MacEachern

    Co-Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 06:31 p.m.

    Hi Trevor,

    Yes, the implicate learning that takes place during game place can be made explicate at any grade level! We created 3 HS science apps a few years back for a research study we called Leveling Up and witnessed many teens making connections to science concepts as they played the game. I'm linking our research page from our website in case you'd like to read more. 

    Thanks for the positive Zoombinis words! 

    Barb 

     

  • Small default profile

    Erinne Lynch

    K-12 Teacher
    May 20, 2018 | 09:16 p.m.

    This brings back great childhood memories! Zoombinis was my all time favorite computer game and I remember just how challenging the journey could get. As an educator, I often struggle teaching students number sense or building their computational thinking skills. With the increase in research and implementation of gaming and coding in the classroom, it's great that your team is trying to connect the two through the use of this wonderfully challenging and addicting game. It will be interesting to see how students choices and decisions throughout the game relate to their abilities in math and science.  I am anxious to follow your results and will be on the lookout for an opportunity to try this with my 5th grade students! I wonder what your next steps will be? Are you hoping to make some of your resources available to the public? Thanks for sharing!

  • May 21, 2018 | 03:11 p.m.

    My kids grew up with Zoombinis, and my son wanted to be like Chris Hancock.  It is wonderful how playful it was, and at the same time encouraged so much mathematical thinking.  One piece of trivia:  The name Zoombinis was not Chris and Scot Osterweil's first choice.  Chris already had these little critters labeled something else, and it took a long time for him to get used to their new names!

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.