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Playing, Constructionism, and Music in Early-Stage Software Engineering Education

Gold, Nicolas; Purves, Ross; Himonides, evangelos; (2022) Playing, Constructionism, and Music in Early-Stage Software Engineering Education. Multidisciplinary Journal for Education, Social and Technological Sciences , 9 (1) pp. 14-38. 10.4995/muse.2022.16453. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Understanding that design involves trade-offs, thinking at multiple levels of abstraction, and considering the cohesion and coupling between sub-components of a larger whole is an important part of software (and other) engineering. It can be challenging to convey such abstract design concepts to novice engineers, especially for materials that are themselves abstract (e.g. software). Such challenges are compounded when teaching at the secondary school stage where students have limited experience of large-scale design problems that motivate the need for abstraction at all. In this paper, we describe a method for introducing these concepts to secondary school students using LEGO® and Raspberry Pi computers, asking them to build musical instruments as an entertaining way of motivating engagement with learning about design through play. The method has been successfully piloted in a series of three classroom sessions and key observations and experiences of using the method are presented.

Type: Article
Title: Playing, Constructionism, and Music in Early-Stage Software Engineering Education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.4995/muse.2022.16453
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4995/muse.2022.16453
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Multidisciplinary Journal for Education, Social and Technological Sciences. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: constructionism, construction-blocks, music, design, children, LEGO®
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10146450
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