Effects of a Pair Programming Educational Robot-Based Approach on Students’ Interdisciplinary Learning of Computational Thinking and Language Learning

Ting Chia Hsu, Ching Chang*, Long Kai Wu, Chee Kit Looi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Using educational robots (ERs) to integrate computational thinking (CT) with cross-disciplinary content has gone beyond Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), to include foreign-language learning (FL) and further cross-context target-language (TL) acquisition. Such integration must not solely emphasise CT problem-solving skills. Rather, it must provide students with interactive learning to support their target-language (TL) interaction while reducing potential TL anxiety. This study aimed to validate the effects of the proposed method of pair programming (PP) along with question-and-response interaction in a board-game activity on young learners’ CT skills and TL learning across contexts. Two Grade 6 classes, one with 15 students who were studying Chinese as a Second Language (CSL) and the other with 15 students who were studying English as a Foreign Language (EFL), participated in the activity. A series of instruments on achievement assessment, questionnaires on CT skills and TL anxiety, and sequential learning behaviour analysis were used to critically examine the results. The main conclusion is that the EFL group showed better social skills of cooperation on CT and lower TL learning anxiety, while the CSL group demonstrated better problem-solving skills in CT, but presented more behaviours of trial-and-error loops. Results not only contribute suggestions for cross-disciplinary learning but also provide support for cross-context instruction beyond educational coursework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number888215
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 24

Keywords

  • educational robots
  • interdisciplinary activities
  • language learning
  • pair programming
  • trial-and-error loops

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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