Information Uses and Learning Outcomes During Guided Discovery in a Blended E-Learning Game Design Program for Secondary Computer Science Education

Date
2017-01-04
Authors
Reynolds, Rebecca
Leeder, Christopher
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Abstract
This study investigates middle school and high school students’ online information uses and social constructivist engagement during a blended e-learning program of game design for computer science education. Students use a learning management system (LMS) pre-populated with curriculum and resources, participating in an in-school class, daily for credit and a grade for a year, with non-expert teachers. This blended e-learning model aims to contribute to scaling of CS education, towards meeting the needs of teacher shortages in this domain. The study draws on Google Analytics data to describe student activity patterns and investigate relationships between measured patterns and learning outcomes. Findings show two activity factors emerging in student resource uses (less advanced, more advanced), and correlations between uses of more advanced resource, and outcomes. Further, student uses of the “team page,” the locus of their social constructivist game design engagement online, are highly correlated with outcomes. The research offers some support for effectiveness of such blended learning approaches in supporting CS education in this age group through knowledge-building, while also showing areas for improvement in instructional design, including direct scaffolding of information literacy instruction in such contexts.
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Keywords
blended e-learning, Computer science education, game design, knowledge-building, learning management system
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