Young students’ engagement in computer programming has been recognized as a crucial issue in educational settings nowadays. In this study, a block-based programming approach was employed to investigate its impacts on the learning anxiety, playfulness, and enjoyment of young students with different academic levels. A total of 175 10th graders participated in the study. The participants were asked to use block-based programming to control a robot. The experimental results show that the block-based programming, which engages students in programming tasks using a building block-like visual interface, significantly reduced the students’ learning anxiety while also promoting their playfulness and enjoyment in the perspectives of computational thinking. It was also found that the block-based programming benefited the low- and medium-achievement more than the high-achievement students did. Therefore, it was inferred that block-based programming would be useful for those people who have worse learning performance in conventional programming learning so they need further remedial instruction. Moreover, male students had lower learning anxiety and higher playfulness than the female students. The findings could be a good reference for researchers and school teachers who intend to conduct programming activities for young children.
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