University of Hertfordshire

Block-oriented programming with tangibles: An engaging way to learn computational thinking skills

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Alessio Malizia
  • Tommaso Turchi
  • Kai A. Olsen
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Blocks and Beyond Workshop (Blocks and Beyond)
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538624807
ISBN (Print)9781538624814
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Event2nd IEEE Blocks and Beyond Workshop, B and B 2017 - Raleigh, United States
Duration: 10 Oct 2017 → …


Conference2nd IEEE Blocks and Beyond Workshop, B and B 2017
CountryUnited States
Period10/10/17 → …


Block-oriented programming environments, such as Scratch and AppInventor, have become mainstream and have helped introduce non-programmers to algorithmic thinking; that is, to computational thinking (CT) skills. In various experiments, referenced in this paper, we observed how objects (tangibles) augmented with digital properties-that is, tangible user interface (TUI) objects-can help develop CT skills. We investigate which paradigm can be used to introduce CT skills with TUIs. By drawing on past experience, we conclude that block-oriented programming provides a suitable answer to our research questions. Furthermore, we introduce a framework for implementing block-oriented programmable objects that we believe can help end-users learn CT skills.

ID: 15050082