The Louisiana Department of Education partnered with the Gordon A. Cain Center at LSU to pilot a Computing High School Graduation Pathway. The first course in the pathway, Introduction to Computational Thinking (ICT), is designed to teach programming and reinforce mathematical practice skills of nine-grade students, with an emphasis on promoting higher order thinking. In 2017- 18, about 200 students and five teachers participated in the pilot, in 2018-2019 the participation increased to 400 students, and in the current 2019-2020 year about 800 students in 11 schools are involved. After describing the course content and the teacher training, we briefly discuss the data we have collected in the last two years. The overall student reception of the course has been positive, but the course was categorized by most students as hard. The pre-post test content assessments show that students have learned not only the language, but also general principles of programming. Lessons learned during the pilot phase have motivated changes, such as emphasizing during Professional Development the need to provide timely feedback to students, provide detailed rubrics for the projects and reorganize the lessons to increase the initial engagement with the material. After two years of running pilots, the course is becoming student-centered, where most of the code and image samples provided in the lessons are based on code created by previous students.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE
Alegre, F., Underwoood, J., & Moreno, J. (2020). Introduction to computational thinking: A new high school curriculum using codeworld. Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE, 992-998. https://doi.org/10.1145/3328778.3366960