International Conference on Computational Science & Applications (COMSAP 2023)
December 30 ~ 31, 2023, Virtual Conference
Integrating and Evaluating Initial Computational Thinking Knowledge in an Undergraduate Marine Science Course
Dana Christensen, Department of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, USA
Students in undergraduate marine science courses spend time sampling in the field and are expected to draw conclusions from the data they collect. Computational thinking (CT) supports students in navigating these new experiences. Previous CT frameworks were the foundation we used to develop an intervention for the marine science department at a liberal arts University in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. through the lens of science education research. This intervention incorporates discipline specific content, mathematical principles and computational thinking constructs. Objectives for each of the 6 lessons are supported by unique marine science data sets, topics and skills selected by the faculty at the University. The intervention was distributed to all students enrolled in introductory marine science classes to supplement their lab (N = 67). We developed two assessments to quantitatively assess student progress on: (1) marine science based quantitative skills and (2) CT knowledge. Student artifacts for each lesson are scored with a standard rubric to supplement the pre- and post-test results. Marine science education research is scarce, especially around interventions and assessment focused on CT. Our research has many applications due to the inquiry-based laboratory components that use quantitative skill to understand nature. Our current research addresses initial student scores of (1) marine science quantitative skills as well as (2) CT knowledge. Future implications support how abstraction, emergence, scale levels and interdisciplinarity may be emphasized through CT.