INTRODUCING PROGRAMMING TO ELEMENTARY STUDENTS NOVICES BY USING GAME DEVELOPMENT IN PYTHON AND SCRATCH
1 Elementary school "Blatine-Škrape", Split (CROATIA)
2 University of Split, Faculty of Science (CROATIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Most modern jobs rely on informatics. Jobs requiring the knowledge and skills associated to computers programming are one of most wanted occupations today. Despite that fact, there is enrolment crisis in computing, and programming courses are the least favoured by students. Students should be introduced to programming as early as possible. Question is what programming language is appropriate for that age? It is possible that “classical” approach for teaching programming, which includes procedural programming language with solving math problems, is strange and repulsive to students. Many researches showed that visual programming languages like scratch and programming games instead solving math problems have positive affect to motivation for programming. Motivation is important but do students actually learn programming concepts by programming games in Scratch? Problem solving skill is crucial for programming but does it affect success and motivation for programming? To answer these questions, we have conducted a research and used quantitative and qualitative analysis. The population sample consisted of 5th grade students belonging to 4 classes of two different elementary schools in year 2014/2015. Students didn’t have any previous programming experience. Students’ problem solving skills were measured before any programming lectures. Students were introduced to programming using procedural programming in Python and after that using game programming tasks in Scratch. In this paper the results of research will be presented.
Keywords: Programming, python, scratch, games, elementary school.