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What strategies do students use when they are programming a robot to follow a curved line?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Teaching and Learning.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5547-5834
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2024 (English)In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 691-710Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During a relatively short period of time, programming has been implemented in the national curriculum of the compulsory school in Sweden. Since 2018, programming is a new content in the technology subject and the research field has discussed some of the challenges teachers and students, who generally have little experiences of programming, face when programming is introduced in teaching. In this study, we have explored what strategies lower secondary school students (ages 13–15) use when they are programming a robot to follow a curved line in technology education class. Data consists of screen recorded films when students are pair programming a robot. Student talks were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Practical Epistemological Analysis. The analysis revealed three different strategies that the students used when programming the robot: (1) sensor—follow the line, searching for a code that automatically would make the robot to follow the route, (2) sensor—wheels, using codes to create a feedback system between sensor and wheels, and (3) rotations—degrees–wheels, using the position of the robot to stepwise fine tune the movement of the wheels. In line with previous research, the students in our study spent much time discussing, testing, and debugging their code, and our findings contribute by showing how these discussions were aligned with the strategy used. Depending on the strategy, students actively looked for and tested codes affecting different aspects of the sensor-wheel system, such as for example sensor input, power, rotations or turning. Implications for teaching is discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. Vol. 34, no 2, p. 691-710
Keywords [en]
Programming, Robots, Follow a line, Strategies, Technology education, Lower secondary school
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-219789DOI: 10.1007/s10798-023-09841-xISI: 001028454900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85164821042OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-219789DiVA, id: diva2:1784879
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Stockholm UniversityAvailable from: 2023-07-31 Created: 2023-07-31 Last updated: 2024-04-22Bibliographically approved

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Anderhag, Per

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