DESIGN IDEAS FOR A LEARNING MATERIAL TO TEACH CODING TO CHILDREN WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENT
1 Yıldız Technical University (TURKEY)
2 University of Central Lancashire (UNITED KINGDOM)
3 Okan University (TURKEY)
4 University of Bristol (UNITED KINGDOM)
5 Biruni University (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The programming language learning process requires the use of several different cognitive skills. Algorithmic thinking, abstraction, decomposition and logical reasoning can be listed among the skills which are used by a programmer during the coding process. Because of coding’s interdisciplinary characteristics, researchers try to embed programming education in different areas of education with computational productivity being integrated in school educational plans. Despite a large amount of international research and design on programing education, it can be seen that there is a remarkable lack of tools and strategies to teach coding to children with visual impairments. Block-based environments, robotic education materials, text-based editors and many similar tools used for programming education are rarely or never used in the education of this special learner group which includes blind children. In our study, we describe design activities intended to inform instructional material and programming tools for students with visually impairments. The design activities included interviews and low-tech prototyping tasks. Interviews were held with students and CS teachers to understand their experiences and highlight the problems that they met in CS courses. Important details like the importance of voice-based outputs of coding practices and meaningful learning for these students were noticed in the interviews. From the students it was clear that they were enthusiastic to learn to code and were aware of the importance of computers in their lives. Outputs from the design work will be included in the full text. All data will be used as part of a project titled “Improving Programming Skills of Visually Impaired Students” supported by The NEWTON REL (Research Environment Links) program.
Keywords: Barriers to Learning, Universal Design for Learning, Coding for Students with Visual Impairment, Programming Education, CS for ALL.