Browsing by Subject "Interdisciplinary projects"

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  • Laakso, Noora L.; Korhonen, Tiina S.; Hakkarainen, Kai P. J. (2021)
    Background: This exploratory study engaged teams of elementary and middle school students in the collaborative design of digital games. Game design is theoretically examined in this study as a form of knowledge-creating learning that is characterized by collaborative efforts to advance a shared object of activity, i.e., the game being designed. Using mixed methods, we examined how students experienced the game design project and how the project fostered connected learning, that is, integration of students' personal interests and supportive peer relations with their schoolwork, and how their self-assessed digital competences developed. Methods: The digital competences of 98 comprehensive school students across Finland were traced using pre-and post-questionnaires. The post-questionnaire also included validated measures on connected learning. Quantitative methods were used to analyze structured measures, and qualitative methods were used to analyze open-ended measures. Findings: Students experienced game design as an inspiring, challenging activity. Game design engaged student teams in sustained, collaborative efforts to create shared digital artifacts. Their efforts involved a great deal of mutual support and knowledge sharing. Participation also improved students' self-reported technical and artistic digital competences. The game design project fostered informal, interest-driven, sociodigital participation; inspired learning engagement; and improved schoolwork practices. Contribution: The game design project appeared to be a pedagogically meaningful way of engaging students in knowledge-creating learning and of connecting students' formal and informal learning. The project sparked students' motivation to learn, fostered digital competences, and enriched the learning environment.
  • Petrie, Christopher (2022)
    Programming is often misaligned with beginner students' interests and viewed as difficult. However, most students and teachers are not aware that it is possible to utilise domain-specific programming languages that combine programming with other domains like music making. Sonic Pi is one free domain-specific programming platform that enables beginners to code music, which has been designed for and used in schools since its first release in 2012. However, there is a lack of academic research on the Sonic Pi platform about the extent it may affect beginner student attitudes towards programming in a school context. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent Sonic Pi may help to promote positive attitudes towards programming. A mixed-methods case study was developed and trialled in school time with a middle school class, which measured student attitudes with the three subscales of enjoyment, importance, and anxiety. Overall, the results confirmed an alternative hypothesis that all students’ subscales for programming attitude increased significantly. While these findings are not generalisable due to its limited scope, they are very positive to inform the design and use of platforms like Sonic Pi in comparison to similar music coding platforms like EarSketch and TunePad.