“RemoteMentor”: Evaluation of interactions between teenage girls, remote tutors, and coding activities in school lessons

[PREPRINT]

Bernadette Spieler1, Jana Mikats2, Sophi Valentin2, Libora Oates-Indruchova2,
and Wolfgang Slany3
1 University of Hildesheim, Institute of Mathematics and Applied Informatics,
Germany bernadette.spieler@uni-hildesheim.de
2 University of Graz, Institute of Sociology, Austria jana.mikats@uni-graz.at
sophi.valentin@outlook.com
libora.oates-indruchova@uni-graz.at
3 University of Graz, Institue of Software Technology, Austria
wolfgang.slany@tugraz.at

Abstract. Research points at various factors for the low and even decreasing proportion of women in the IT sector in developed countries, e.g., psychological causes, social factors, or structural conditions. These possible explanations all have one thing in common: they recognize adolescence as the essential con dence-building phase in girls. Girls aged 12 to 15 years old seem to lose interest in computer science (CS). Providing mentors and female role models are two key elements to counteract gender stereotypes in CS.

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The Magic Word: A Coding Tutorial-Game to Engage Female Teenagers in App Design

[PREPRINT]

Bernadette Spielerbernadette.spieler@uni-hildesheim.de
Institute for Mathematics and Applied Informatics, University of Hildesheim, Hildesheim, Germany
Naomi Pfaffpfaff@student.tugraz.at
Institute of Software Technology, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
Stefania Makrygiannakiit164703@it.teithe.gr
International Hellenic University, Nea Moudania, Greece
Wolfgang Slanyslany@tugraz.at
Institute of Software Technology, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Abstract: Educational games are commonly used to motivate students and provide enhanced learning opportunities. Apps and mobile games play an increasingly important role in education and smartphones are part of the daily lives of most female teenagers: Half of mobile gamers are women and 64% of women prefer smartphones to other platforms. However, gender differences in playing behaviour and preferences raises concerns about potential gender inequalities when games are developed for education.

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[GERMAN] Kreative Aktivitäten mit Smartphones für einen fächerintegrativen Einsatz

Einzelvortrag

Bernadette Spieler1, Vesna Krnjic2
1 Universität Hildesheim, Institut für Mathematik & Angewandte Informatik, Abteilung Informatik-Didaktik
2 Technische Universität Graz, Institut für Softwaretechnologie; spieler@uni-hildesheim.de

Themen: Sekundar I, Digitalisierung & Mathematik, Geometrie, interdisziplinär, MINT
Stichworte: Visuelle Programmierung, Kreativität, Coding, Smartphone, Gender,  Kreative Aktivitäten mit Smartphones für einen fächerintegrativen Einsatz

Kurzfassung: Mit der Lernapp Pocket Code können Schüler/innen zw. 10-17 einfach Programmieren lernen, indem sie kreative Designs entwickeln. Mit grafischen Blöcken und ohne großes Vorwissen, können schnell Anwendungen erstellt werden. Mit einer programmierbaren Stickmaschine werden diese selbst kreierte geometrische Muster dann auf T-Shirts oder Taschen gestickt. Die Stickmuster werden zuerst am Smartphone programmiert und via USB Stick auf die Maschine geladen. Als Resultat haben Schüler/innen etwas Bleibendes zum Anziehen, das sie anderen zeigen können.

Link: https://2020.gdm-tagung.de/
GDM2020 Tagung: 09. – 13.03.2020

“Computer Science for all”: Concepts to engage teenagers and non-CS students in technology

Bernadette Spieler, Maria Grandl, Martin Ebner, Wolfgang Slany
Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Abstract: Knowledge in Computer Science (CS) is essential, and companies have increased their demands for CS professionals. Despite this, many jobs remain unfilled. Furthermore, employees with computational thinking (CT) skills are required, even if they are not actual technicians. Moreover, the gender disparity in technology related fields is a serious problem. Even if companies want to hire women in technology, the number of women who enter these fields is remarkably low. In high schools, most teenagers acquire only low-level skills in CS. Thus, they may never understand the fundamental concepts of CS, have unrealistic expectations or preconceptions, and are influenced by stereotype-based expectations. Consequently, many teenagers exclude computing as a career path. In this research study, we present two promising concepts to overcome these challenges.

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Girls Create Games: Lessons Learned

Bernadette Spieler, Vesna Krnjic, Wolfgang Slany
Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
bernadette.spieler@ist.tugraz.at
vesna.krnjic@ist.tugraz.at
wolfgang.slany@tugraz.at

Abstract: Recent studies from all over the world show that more boys than girls play video games. The numbers are different for mobile gaming apps, where 65% of women are identified as gamers. Adapting gaming concepts or game design activities for academic purposes is a widely applied approach at schools or off-school initiatives, like CoderDojos or similar clubs, and is seen as a promising opportunity for all teenagers to learn coding in an entertaining way. 

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Evaluation of the Create@School Game-Based Learning–Teaching Approach

Eugenio Gaeta, María Eugenia Beltrán-Jaunsaras, Gloria Cea
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Bernadette Spieler
Graz University of Technology
Andrew Burton, David J. Brown, Helen Boulton
Nottingham Trent University
Rebeca Isabel García-Betances, Maria Teresa Arredondo
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Abstract: The constructivist approach is interested in creating knowledge through active engagement and encourages students to build their knowledge from their experiences in the world. Learning through digital game making is a constructivist approach that allows students to learn by developing their own games, enhancing problem-solving skills and fostering creativity. In this context two tools, Create@School App and the Project Management Dashboard (PMD), were developed to enable students from different countries to be able to adapt their learning material by programming and designing games for their academic subjects, therefore integrating the game mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics into the academic curriculum.

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Constructionist Attempts at Supporting the Learning of Computer Programming: A Survey

Michael LODI 1, Dario MALCHIODI 2, Mattia MONGA 2, Anna MORPURGO 2, Bernadette SPIELER 3

1 Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna & INRIA Focus, Italy
2 Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
3 Graz University of Technology, Austria

Abstract. Although programming is often seen as a key element of constructionist approaches, the research on learning to program through a constructionist strategy is somewhat limited, mostly focusing on how to bring the abstract and formal nature of programming languages into “concrete”, possibly tangible objects, graspable even by children with limited abstraction power.

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Female Teenagers in Computer Science Education: Understanding Stereotypes, Negative Impacts, and Positive Motivation

[in peer review]

Bernadette Spieler, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria,
bernadette.spieler@ist.tugraz.at
Libora Oates-Indruchova, University of Graz, Austria, libora.oates-indruchova@uni-graz.at
Wolfgang Slany, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria, wolfgang.slany@tugraz.at

ABSTRACT
Although teenage girls engage in coding courses, only a small percentage of them plan to pursue Computer Science (CS) as a major when choosing a career path. Gender differences in interests, sense-of belonging, self-efficacy, and engagement in CS are already present at that age. This article presents an overview of gender stereotypes by summarizing the negative impressions
female teenagers experience during CS classes and also influences that may be preventing girls from taking an interest in CS. The study draws on published research since 2006 and argues that those findings point to the existence of the stereotypical image of a helpless, uninterested, and unhappy “Girl in Computing”.

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Intersectionality and Computer Science Education: Building sensitivity and awareness

 

Bernadette Spieler, Wolfgang Slany
Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
bernadette.spieler@ist.tugraz.at
wolfgang.slany@tugraz.at

Abstract:

School is the only place that many young people will have the opportunity to engage with computer science (CS), to develop their knowledge, new ways of thinking and interest in this area.  However, to inspire and engage students is a challenge for teachers especially to empower those who experience exclusion in technology (e.g., girls). While initiatives such as girls-only events have had much success, they are limited; including only a small percentage of the population and are not realistic in mixed-gender classrooms. Moreover, most  students are not interested, or do not feel intrinsically motivated in learning about Computer Science (CS), thus, it is uncertain that they will join any tech related off-campus activities voluntarily or will not choose optional CS related subjects during their school time voluntarily.

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A Customised App to Attract Female Teenagers to Coding

Bernadette Spieler, Wolfgang Slany
Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
bernadette.spieler@ist.tugraz.at
wolfgang.slany@tugraz.at

Abstract: The number of women in IT-related disciplines is far below the number of men, especially in developed countries. Middle-school girls appear to be engaged in coding courses, but when they choose academic majors relevant to their future careers, only few pursue computer science as a major. In order to show students a new way of learning and to engage them with coding activities, we used the learning app Pocket Code. In the “No One Left Behind” H2020 European project, the app was evaluated in several school subjects. An evaluation of the attractiveness of the app shows that students were motivated by Pocket Code’s ease of use and its appealing design; however, girls rated the app less enthusiastically.

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