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From game design to simulation design, including changes in CTPA graph shapes.

Learning Transfer

CTPA analyzes an AgentSheets/AgentCubes project in terms of computational thinking patterns (CTP). The result is visualized in the form of a spider (radar) graph. A student’s learning transfer can be identified by exploring changes in CTPA graphs over time (figure above) [1].
In the above figure, a chaos theory simulation, created by one student with the accompanying CTPA graph (bottom left), shows how that student mixed and combined computational thinking patterns he had learned and used when previously programming
Sokoban (top left) and Sims (top right). The CTPA graph of his science simulation is quite similar to the combined CTPA graphs of Sokoban and Sims (bottom right).
This result is an early indicator of transfer between game design and science simulation design. While further work is necessary to distinguish correlation from causation and to investigate the role of teachers in the transfer of scaffolding concepts, possessing any concrete indications of transfer serves as an important step for computer science, in general, and for computer science education, in particular.
The specific nature of the units of transfer in CTPA, namely the Computational Thinking Patterns, and the ability to identify and analyze them, make the transfer apparent. This nature makes CTPA the first tool able to automatically compute Computational Thinking, measure learning outcomes, and provide initial indicators of transfer in student-created artifacts.

  • Koh, K. H., Basawapatna, A.,Bennett, V., Repenning, A., Towards the Automatic Recognition of Computational Thinking for Adaptive Visual Language Learning, IEEE International Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing 2010, Leganés-Madrid, Spain, September 21-25, 2010