Icon for: James Lester


North Carolina State University, Center for Educational Informatics
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Jonathan Margolin

    Jonathan Margolin

    Principal Researcher
    May 14, 2018 | 10:57 a.m.

    I certainly do wish I had a chance to play a game like that when I was in middle school! Apart from the fact that games are fun, I am wondering: how does a game environment enhance the learning of computational thinking? For example--is it promoting engagement with the content, or is there some other affordance of the game that improves learning?

  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Senior Science Educator
    May 14, 2018 | 03:36 p.m.

    I am intrigued! I tried to figure out what science concepts were addressed in the game featured in the video and which of the practices. Could you say a few words about the science content and practices that are the target of the game (I can see the building blocks of the code in process!). In the course of playing the game, is the middle school player aware of the embedded science content and the practices he/she's using?


  • Icon for: Margo Murphy

    Margo Murphy

    May 15, 2018 | 06:43 a.m.

    I can see there would be high interest for students interacting with ENGAGE.  How are you assessing what students are learning both for CS and science content?  

    There seemed to be partners in each of the video clips.. was this by design? Collaboration is fundamental skills for students to develop but I also know that middle school students that have command of the keyboard are not always able to collaborate effectively.  Are there strategies that were used to support collaboration or was this left to the teacher? I would be curious to know if there were similar learning outcomes for students that were in different roles.

  • Icon for: Lei Liu

    Lei Liu

    May 16, 2018 | 09:49 a.m.

    The activities are exactly what students need to develop 21st century skills and deep understanding about science. The integrated and interdisciplinary nature of the activities truly addresses what has often been missing in education. One question about the assessment design representation. Are you using an integrated assessment to measure all target constructs (e.g., computationally rich science practices, conceptual knowledge), or are you using separate assessments to measure each individual construct? I would hope to see the former, but also realize it's challenging to develop such assessments.

  • Icon for: Rebecca Vieyra

    Rebecca Vieyra

    May 16, 2018 | 11:36 a.m.

    Yes, I too am quite interested in the assessments. I see that you are using a block language -- is your assessment something that could be administered pre and post, or do students need to have an understanding of the programming framework in order to take the assessment? (This, of course, is assuming you are doing something quantitative and more traditional, which you might not...)

  • Icon for: Allison Theobold

    Allison Theobold

    Graduate Student
    May 17, 2018 | 12:19 p.m.

    I am also interested in the variety of assessments that you presented in the video. Some seem to lend themselves naturally to pre- and post-activity assessments, while others take a more holistic approach to attitudes and self-efficacy. How are you assessing student attitudes and self-efficacy towards computer science after participating in the Engage activity?   

  • Icon for: Kinnari Atit

    Kinnari Atit

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2018 | 12:53 p.m.

    Great video but it leaves me with a lot of questions! How often did students play with ENGAGE? How did you train teachers or what kinds of scaffolds did teachers need to implement ENGAGE in their classrooms? I ask because your study is extremely relevant to our study http://videohall.com/p/1124





  • Icon for: Allison Theobold

    Allison Theobold

    Graduate Student
    May 17, 2018 | 12:23 p.m.

    Great video showing both the programming environment and the feedback you've received from students and teachers! Our project is utilizing a similar (drag and drop) programming environment to engage middle school student in computational thinking. Based on the single display of the Engage environment, I have a few questions. The display showed the repeat until method, but what others are available? Are there built in methods for loopswhile statements, and conditional statements? 

  • Icon for: H Chad Lane

    H Chad Lane

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2018 | 12:28 p.m.

    I loved the underwater station and graphics - what a cool context to write code and apply it to science problems. I know cognitive psychologists often raise the concern of extraneous cognitive load in approaches like this, but I happen to think the motivational gains have got to far outweigh any additional cognitive load from the game. Like Jonathan said above, I wish I had this game in middle school!  So my question is are you, or how would you, investigate that claim?  That the gaming context more than pays off in terms of motivation and engagement? (Ideally that, in turn, would translate into greatly increased time on task and then further downstream, greater learning - but I don't know of any studies yet showing this - I certainly feel that your work could be a candidate). Thanks!

  • Icon for: Weiling Li

    Weiling Li

    May 17, 2018 | 02:32 p.m.

    Very impressed by the game and science learning platform.

  • Icon for: Michelle Zhu

    Michelle Zhu

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 19, 2018 | 08:36 p.m.

    It is a truly very engaging virtual environment to play game and learn block-based programming for computational thinking! My question is that how the science standards in physics, biology and earth etc are being represented in these game settings? For example, how can you teach gravity or water cycle using the game? Also, how to design the assessment to evaluate student's science concepts? I am interested in it since we are working on a project with similar objective. Good job!  

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