A hermeneutic approach to simplify programming: Secondary education case studies

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A central concern in the field of CT deals with how to simplify programming, to make it accessible to individuals without a technical background. Although CT should not be only reduced to it, programming remains the main challenge in the design of CT pedagogical approaches and tools. In the past years we have developed an approach to simplify programming, centered on the creation of a theoretical framework that can describe the learning path of beginner programmers in terms of knowledge distance. Our framework combines the hermeneutic spiral with Notional Machines, NoMs for short, seen as a more operational counterpart to hermeneutics. To simplify the problem-solving aspect of programming for learners, our approach addresses computational problems that are specific to their studies, and leverages learners’ preunderstanding of the digital media, that they have experienced as users. To concretize the connection between the hermeneutic spiral and NoMs, we designed a minimalistic Python multimedia library, called Medialib, aimed at enabling secondary education students to create visual media and games with simple code; the choice of multimedia as the main domain to introduce CT spawns directly from the hermeneutic spiral and learners’ preunderstanding. This paper compares three case studies that we conducted in the past three years, at universities in Japan and Denmark, and in a Danish gymnasium. The main contribution of this paper is a theoretical understanding of how CT is being constructed as a school subject in Danish high schools and non-technical lines in university. Our studies show a convergence of CT towards design of multimedia in secondary education, especially regarding the high-fidelity prototyping phase.
TitelLearning and Collaboration Technologies. Designing the Learner and Teacher Experience : HCII 2022
RedaktørerPanayiotis Zaphiris, Andri Ioannou
Publikationsdatojun. 2022
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-031-05656-7
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-031-05657-4
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2022
Begivenhed24th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: HCI International 2022 - Virtual
Varighed: 26. jun. 20221. jul. 2022
Konferencens nummer: 24


Konference24th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
NavnLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • Computational Thinking
  • programming
  • hermeneutics
  • notional machines
  • learning
  • secondary education


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