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Refining an understanding of computational thinking

Refining an understanding of computational thinking
Refining an understanding of computational thinking
This paper identifies aspects of computational thinking and proposes a description that meets the needs of teachers and academics reflecting upon the developing UK curriculum. Since Jeanette Wing’s use of the term computational thinking in 2006, various discussions have arisen seeking a robust definition of the phrase with little consensus. In order to facilitate consistent curriculum design and appropriate assessment, it is argued that a definition and description of the elements of computational thinking need to be identified. Criteria are developed for the objectives of a computational thinking definition, in accordance with the needs identified in the literature. The most frequently occurring terms, descriptions, and meanings used to characterise computational thinking are also identified in the literature. Using the criteria as a guide and the collected terms as the vocabulary, a definition of computational thinking is developed which incorporates the concepts of automation, abstraction, decomposition, algorithmic design, evaluation, and generalisation.
computational thinking, definition, abstraction, decomposition, algorithmic thinking, algorithmic design, generalization, evaluation
1-23
University of Southampton
Selby, Cynthia
2dbcf9b4-a826-489e-b84f-51bf440bc5b1
Woollard, John
85f363e3-9708-4740-acf7-3fe0d1845001
Selby, Cynthia
2dbcf9b4-a826-489e-b84f-51bf440bc5b1
Woollard, John
85f363e3-9708-4740-acf7-3fe0d1845001

Selby, Cynthia and Woollard, John (2014) Refining an understanding of computational thinking University of Southampton

Record type: Monograph (Working Paper)

Abstract

This paper identifies aspects of computational thinking and proposes a description that meets the needs of teachers and academics reflecting upon the developing UK curriculum. Since Jeanette Wing’s use of the term computational thinking in 2006, various discussions have arisen seeking a robust definition of the phrase with little consensus. In order to facilitate consistent curriculum design and appropriate assessment, it is argued that a definition and description of the elements of computational thinking need to be identified. Criteria are developed for the objectives of a computational thinking definition, in accordance with the needs identified in the literature. The most frequently occurring terms, descriptions, and meanings used to characterise computational thinking are also identified in the literature. Using the criteria as a guide and the collected terms as the vocabulary, a definition of computational thinking is developed which incorporates the concepts of automation, abstraction, decomposition, algorithmic design, evaluation, and generalisation.

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Published date: December 2014
Keywords: computational thinking, definition, abstraction, decomposition, algorithmic thinking, algorithmic design, generalization, evaluation

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Local EPrints ID: 372410
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372410
PURE UUID: caf0a26a-c7d3-48b1-98ae-b0e321011c7a

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Date deposited: 10 Dec 2014 12:28
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 19:26

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