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U427B·SUNDAY WORKSHOP: Coding without Tears: The Art and Craft of Teaching Computational Thinking
Workshop First-Year Programs Division (FYP)
Sun. June 23, 2024 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
A109, Oregon Convention Center
Session Description

Free ticketed event
Computational thinking is a crucial skill that is growing in importance for future engineers. As engineered devices incorporate more computational components, there is growing demand for engineers who can design these components. In addition, the power of computation is radically altering what is and is not achievable in engineering, especially given the recent resurgence of artificial intelligence. Some engineering programs have responded by integrating computational thinking into introductory engineering courses for first-year students. These courses serve as the foundation of engineering education and can be gatekeepers for students to determine whether they pursue engineering as a career. Integrating computational thinking into introductory engineering courses without losing future engineers is a critical challenge in engineering education. This is especially significant because computer programming and computational thinking are areas of great inequality, with some secondary schools offering multi-layered programs for developing these skills while others have none.

Our collaborative multi-institutional research team has spent four years designing, implementing, deploying, and validating an engineering computational thinking diagnostic (ECTD). This instrument measures pre-post performance on questions that indicate student ability in the areas of abstraction, decomposition, algorithmic thinking, data representation, and the social context of computing. Instructors at higher education can use the ECTD as the diagnostic to assess entry-level skills that enable timely interventions, such as additional learning modules, learning cohorts, supplemental assistance, and guided aids. Pre-post applications of the ECTD can help educational programs evaluate the effectiveness of a course in achieving the development of computational thinking skills so that continuous improvement can be implemented for students.

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce and encourage use of the engineering computational thinking diagnostic (ECTD), discuss current and potential uses of this tool, and explore the broader impact that the tool can enable in the scholarship of research and scholarship of teaching of our participants.

Speakers
  1. Dr. Noemi V Mendoza Diaz
    Texas A&M University

    Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution,
    Texas A&M University

  2. Dr. Deborah Anne Trytten
    University of Oklahoma

    Computer Science
    University of Oklahoma

  3. Dr. Russell D. Meier
    Milwaukee School of Engineering

    Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    Milwaukee School of Engineering

  4. Dr. So Yoon Yoon
    University of Cincinnati

    Engineering and Computing Education
    University of Cincinnati

  5. Dr. Harry A. Hogan
    Texas A&M University

    Engineering Academic and Student Affairs
    Texas A&M University

There are currently 24 registrants interested in attending