Development and initial assessment of GlowScript Blocks, a new tool for introducing programming in introductory physics
Trinket is a browser-based portal to programming that does not require the user to download or install software, making it easy to use. Hunter Close from Texas State University will share with us how he uses Trinket to introduce students in introductory physics to programming.
At Texas State University, and in partnership with the educational technology company Trinket, we have developed a block-based, drag-and-drop editor to control GlowScript VPython output, as an alternative to the already existing text-based GlowScript functionality at Trinket. Students in two different courses have now used this tool, called "GlowScript Blocks", for two semesters. I will present the motivation for the project, the rationale for the design, and some sample instructional tasks. I will also present a variety of data that we have collected to try to assess the impact on student learning of computation: student perceptions of the GlowScript Blocks tool and the associated lessons, performance on a standardized computational thinking assessment, student products from a design project, and performance on some targeted research tasks involving GlowScript Blocks. The results so far are mixed, with many remaining opportunities for improvement of students' affect and learning.
09:15-10:00: Presentation by Hunter Close
10:00-10:15: Coffee break