1 ISERJ/FAETEC - Instituto Superior de Educação do Rio de Janeiro (BRAZIL)
2 UTAD - University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 6040-6049
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.1583
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Learning control flows in a programming language becomes difficult as more abstract concepts are required of students. Programming courses are generally taught using general purpose programming languages, which sometimes become very complex for beginning students without prior knowledge [1], [2].

Educational Robotics (RE) finds its main support in the theories of constructivist and constructionist learning [3], [4]. According to Papert, knowledge is achieved as the individual interacts with the object of study [5].

Robotics activities can situate the learning of abstract concepts and problem solving skills through experimental learning, in which students can create, observe and interact with objects [6]. This approach allows students to program these devices and interact with them in real-world settings [7]. The use of robotics in the educational field is interesting because it has a multidisciplinary character, since it requires knowledge of programming, mathematics, physics and mechanics, among others.

The objective of the experiment will be to put into practice some knowledge about flow control structures in programming, such as: decision (“IF..ELSE”, ”SWITCH..CASE”) and repetition (“DO..WHILE”, ”REPEAT..UNTIL”, “FOR”). The proposed task consists of programming a robot equipped with sensors to carry out activities that simulate these control structures and make the assessment to answer the research questions.

Five activities will be carried out to answer if the instruction flow control structures in structured programming such as: IF ... ELSE, SWITCH ... CASE, DO…WHILE, REPEAT..UNTIL, FOR can be better understood and learned when students perceive their physical representation in 2D (two dimensions) and 3D (three dimensions) with the use of mobile physical devices, such as robots and drones?

An intervention will be applied using the quasi-experimental method with pre and post-test. There will be two groups, one being the control group that will not be trained. The experimental group will participate in a weekly program that will last two weeks with a workload of 20 hours in the institution's robotics laboratory.

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[7] O'Sullivan, D., & Igoe, T. (2004). Physical computing: sensing and controlling the physical world with computers. Course Technology Press.
Educational robotics, computational thinking, control structures.