About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7072-7079
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain


X. Basogain1, F. Monroy2, S. Durán2, D. Rocha2, M. Alvarado2, M.A. Olabe1, J.C. Olabe3

1Universidad del País Vasco (SPAIN)
2Universidad DelaSalle Bajío (MEXICO)
3Christian Brothers University (UNITED STATES)
This paper describes the academic and technological infrastructure developed to implement a set of research experiments in the area of computational thinking. It also describes the implementation and results of a first pilot project, a 3D Geometry project, in several schools in Mexico.
The area of computational thinking is being researched in the past few years as an alternative to the traditional teaching methodologies, especially in the areas of science, math, engineering and technology.

According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the performance of ninth grade students around the world in the areas of science and mathematics is demonstrably poor and lacking of deep understanding of fundamental concepts.

Although there are attempts to scientifically demonstrate that some methods of teaching (for example interleaving tasks vs. blocking) outperform traditional methods, this research only produces limited improvements, and only temporarily.
Computational thinking proposes, among other fundamental elements, the creation and use of languages to represent and operate mathematical and scientific concepts.

A group of researches, representing universities in Spain, Mexico and the US, coalesced on the idea of joining efforts and sharing resources to develop and test pilot projects of specific fundamental ideas of computational thinking.
The members of the research group include faculty from the schools of Education and Engineering, as well as undergraduate Education students who performed teaching and evaluation tasks in the field.

The first pilot project was the creation of a 3D Geometry language that would allow fourth grade students a deep understanding of the structure and relationships of 3D structures, such as prisms, pyramids, anti-prisms, and cupolas.

The tasks included in this pilot project included: development of the theoretical language for 3D geometry; development of physical tools for the construction of 3D geometric bodies; methodology to introduce the students to the language; methodology of evaluation; and contact and selection of Schools participating in the project.

To coordinate the activities, the team used Google hangouts to communicate between Spain, Mexico and the US. Also videos were created to describe the process of teaching and constructing 3D structures. The videos and other electronic documents were shared in the cloud.
In the Fall of 2013 the first phase of the project culminated with a field test. A total of four schools in Mexico participated, including 118 students. The evaluation results indicate that a total of 95.3% of the problems were solved correctly, and 87.3% of the students achieved the level of Mastery (having solved correctly all 9 problems).

The next steps planned by the research team include the extension of the language to include new 3D structures, and the derivation of the properties (formulas) that describe them.

This project has shown the effective use of communication technologies for the operation of an international research team, as well as the fundamental value of task distribution (logistics, hardware implementation, theoretical development, pedagogical tasks, teacher training, student evaluation, etc.) in a large scope project.
author = {Basogain, X. and Monroy, F. and Dur{\'{a}}n, S. and Rocha, D. and Alvarado, M. and Olabe, M.A. and Olabe, J.C.},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {7072-7079}}
AU - X. Basogain AU - F. Monroy AU - S. Durán AU - D. Rocha AU - M. Alvarado AU - M.A. Olabe AU - J.C. Olabe
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 7072
EP - 7079
ER -
X. Basogain, F. Monroy, S. Durán, D. Rocha, M. Alvarado, M.A. Olabe, J.C. Olabe (2014) FOSTERING INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH IN COMPUTATIONAL THINKING: PROJECT 3D GEOMETRY, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 7072-7079.