Alexander Repenning

Scalable Game Design: A Strategy to Bring Systemic Computer Science Education to Schools through Game Design and Simulation Creation

An educated citizenry that participates in and contributes to science technology engineering and mathematics innovation in the 21st century will require broad literacy and skills in computer science (CS). School systems will need to give increased attention to opportunities for students to engage in computational thinking and ways to promote a deeper understanding of how technologies and software are used as design tools. However, K-12 students in the United States are facing a broken pipeline for CS education.

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Making Educational Games That Work in The Classroom

The development of analytical skills is a central goal of the Next Generation Science Standards and foundational to subject mastery in STEM fields. Yet, significant barriers exist to students gaining such skills. Here we describe a new “gentleslope” cyberlearning strategy that gradually introduces students to the authoring of scientific simulations via a Web-based modding approach called CyberMOD.

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Conversational Programming: Exploring Interactive Program Analysis

Our powerful computers help very little in debugging the program we have so we can change it into the program we want. We introduce Conversational Programming as a way to harness our computing power to inspect program meaning through a combination of partial program execution and semantic program annotation. A programmer in our approach interactively selects highly autonomous “agents” in a program world as conversation topics and then changes the world to explore the potential behaviors of a selected agent in different scenarios.

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Scalable Game Design: Broadening Participation by Integrating Game Design and Science Simulation Building into Middle School Curricula

In this paper we lay out our strategy of our Scalable Game Design curriculum, which has been funded through a series of NSF (ITEST Strategy, CE21 Type II, and ITEST Scale Up) grants as well as the Google CS4HS program, and list some research questions relevant to bringing Computer Science education to middle schools.

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Beyond Minecraft: Facilitating Computational Thinking through Modeling and Programming in 3D

Visual programming in 3D sounds much more appealing than programming in 2D, but what are its benefits? Here, University of Colorado Boulder educators discuss the differences between 2D and 3D regarding three concepts connecting computer graphics to computer science education: ownership, spatial thinking, and syntonicity.

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Early Validation of Computational Thinking Pattern Analysis

End-user game design affords teachers a unique opportunity to integrate computational thinking concepts into their classrooms. However, it is not always apparent in game and simulation projects what computational thinking-related skills students have acquired. Computational Thinking Pattern Analysis (CTPA) enables teachers to visualize which of nine specific skills students have mastered in game design that can then be used to create simulations.

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Real Time Assessment of Computational Thinking

This paper suggests a Cyberlearning tool based on a highly innovative assessment methodology that helps teachers with computer science education. Currently, there is a strong push to integrate aspects of programming and coding into the classroom environment. However, few if any tools exist that enable real-time formative assessment of in-class programming tasks.

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The Consume-Create Spectrum: Balancing Convenience and Computational Thinking in STEM Learning

Future school science standards, such as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), emphasize the integration of simulation and modeling activities in the classroom environment. The extremes of these activities have two vastly different implementations. On one hand, a teacher can have students experiment on a pre-made simulation associated with the material. On the other hand, students can use, for example, an end-user programming tool to create the simulation from scratch.

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