A GAME BASED DESIGN MODEL FOR DEVELOPING COMPUTATIONAL THINKING SKILLS IN PROGRAMMING INSTRUCTION


Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Hacettepe University, Eğitim Fakültesi, Bilgisayar Ve Öğ.Tek.Eği. Bölümü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2020

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Büşra Özmen

Supervisor: Yasemin Usluel

Abstract:

The aim of this research is to design, implement and evaluate a learning environment based on game programming activities for the development of computational thinking skills of middle school students and to produce design principles for such environments. In the study, in which a design-based research approach was adopted, a construction-based learning environment was designed for students. In this context, workshops were held in which students developed products (stories, storyboards, games, etc.) by participating in various decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, algorithm design, and debugging activities and designed their games using a block-based programming tool (Kodu) at the end of the process. The design was improved with four iterative loops conducted in collaboration with the participants for two years. In the study, in which quantitative and qualitative methods were used together, the study group consisted of sixth-grade middle school students. Skill tests, worksheets, rubrics, interview forms, and self-assessment forms developed by the researcher were used as data collection tools. With quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods, both the educational outcomes and the implementation process were evaluated and the results were reported systematically. As a result, design principles related to the design process and the context in which it is made have been developed that will increase the effectiveness of learning and help the development of computational thinking skills in constructionism based computer game programming process. Also, it was determined that the developed learning experience design has a positive effect on the development of computational thinking skills. Thus, both theoretical and practical evidence on the importance and contribution of constructionist game programming activities in the development of computational thinking skills has been obtained.

Keywords: computational thinking, game programming, problem solving, constructionism, design based research.