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    Investigating the Use of TUIs and GUIs for 6- to 7-Year-Old Programming Learning

    HCI 2018

    Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2018)

    Belfast, UK, 4 - 6 July 2018


    Abrar Almjally



    There is persistent interest in tangible approaches to supporting young children’s learning of programming, but there has been mixed evidence about its benefits, and few studies have investigated the specific features that offer learning benefits in classroom contexts. This research will involve the use of programming blocks that can be instantiated in two contrasting types of interface: a tangible user interface (TUI) and a graphical user interface (GUI). The system will be designed to minimize extraneous differences between the two interfaces in order to isolate the variables of interest.

    Using a between-subjects design, the study will investigate the impact of interface type on learning and on attitudinal outcomes for children aged 6 to 7. From an embodied interaction perspective, the study will analyse the cognitive advantages of each interface, including identifying how and why each interface type might affect learning outcomes. The study will also investigate children’s spontaneous gestures as indicators of understanding. Finally, the research will explore the relationships between interface types, attitudes towards computing, engagement and gender.


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