Identifying Pathways to Computer Science : The Long-Term Impact of Short-Term Game Programming Outreach Interventions
Lakanen, A.-J., & Kärkkäinen, T. (2019). Identifying Pathways to Computer Science : The Long-Term Impact of Short-Term Game Programming Outreach Interventions. ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 19 (3), 20. doi:10.1145/3283070
Published inACM Transactions on Computing Education
© The Authors, 2019.
Short-term outreach interventions are conducted to raise young students’ awareness of the computer science (CS) field. Typically, these interventions are targeted at K–12 students, attempting to encourage to study CS in higher education. This study is based on a series of extra-curricular outreach events that introduced students to the discipline of computing, nurturing creative computational thinking through problem solving and game programming. To assess the long-term impact of this campaign, the participants were contacted and interviewed two to five years after they had attended an outreach event. We studied how participating in the outreach program affected the students’ perceptions of CS as a field and, more importantly, how it affected their educational choices. We found that the outreach program generally had a positive effect on the students’ educational choices. The most prominent finding was that students who already possessed a “maintained situational interest” in CS found that the event strengthened their confidence in studying CS. However, many students were not affected by attending the program, but their perceptions of CS did change. Our results emphasize the need to provide continuing possibilities for interested students to experiment with computing-related activities and hence maintain their emerging individual interests. ...
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
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