Structural Validation for the Developmental Model of Computational Thinking

Meng Jung Tsai*, Jyh Chong Liang, Silvia Wen Yu Lee, Chung Yuan Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


A prior study developed the Computational Thinking Scale (CTS) for assessing individuals’ computational thinking dispositions in five dimensions: decomposition, abstraction, algorithmic thinking, evaluation, and generalization. This study proposed the Developmental Model of Computational Thinking through validating the structural relationships among the five factors of the CTS. To examine the model, a questionnaire including the CTS was administered to 472 middle school students. A confirmatory factor analysis was used to confirm the construct of the measurements, and a PLS-SEM analysis was used to validate the structural relationships among the factors. The results confirmed that the 19-item CTS has good item reliability, internal consistency, and construct reliability for measuring computational thinking (CT). In the Developmental Model of CT, decomposition and abstraction significantly predict all other three CT dispositions, suggesting that they are the two fundamental factors required for CT development. Moreover, a significant linear prediction path was shown starting from algorithmic thinking, evaluation, until generalization. Thus, a multi-level model was confirmed for the conceptual framework of CT. This model suggests a possible sequence for CT development which may provide a guideline for the teaching objectives of CT for different learning stages in different school levels. Decomposition and abstraction are especially suggested to be emphasized in school curricula before teaching algorithmic thinking or algorithm designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-73
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Educational Computing Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar


  • CT
  • computational thinking
  • developmental model
  • instrument validation
  • structural relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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