T8-T2-1 - Teaching computational thinking to students with attention deficit through programming

2. Research-to-Practice Full Paper
Felippe Silva1, 2
1 Linnyer Beatrys Ruiz Aylon
2 Daniela Eloise Fl├┤r

This Research to Practice Full Paper presents a challenge of introducing student with attention deficit into computational thinking through the teaching of algorithms and programming. We propose approaches to teach algorithms, knowing that is a difficult task for many teachers. Similarly, arousing student interest also has its difficulties. Several researches have been developed over the years to understand the real reason for these difficulties and why it is so common. When we include students with attention-deficit (AD) in these studies, there is an increasing difficulty in teaching / learning, making the task of teaching even more challenging. To solve these problems, teachers must develop different strategies to pique students' interest and didactically teach them how to program. This full paper is a case study conducted with a high school student who has attention deficit and the techniques that were used to teach him how to program and maintain his interest in the area. The method used was divided into five steps: The teaching of computer operation and pseudocode (1); Introduction to computational thinking and programming (2); Real-world problem solving focused on the interest of students with AD (3); Pair programming with the teacher for code development (4) and; problem-based learning strategy (5). The first step focuses on teaching hardware concepts, explaining each component of the computer and its operation, and then introducing the student to the concept of algorithms and programming logic through pseudocode. In the second step the student is introduced to language reserved words and the coding of problems previously presented as pseudocode. For the third part, real-world problems focused on student's particular interest, such as his interest in cars, were solved. Exercises like calculating acceleration or calculating the diameter of a wheel, helping the student to stay motivated to learn programming. In this step, a creative learning approach called STEM was used. The fourth step was designed by assessing the student's difficulty in implementing the exercise. Thus, the problem was partitioned and teacher and student alternated to code. For the fifth step the problem-based learning strategy was used because it was found that the student has an interest in challenges. This strategy also has a growing teaching with difficulty level. In order to investigate the effectiveness of the strategies developed, an experimental case study was conducted with a student who has attention deficit. With family consent, the student was introduced to the content and approaches for 34 weeks, totaling 204 hours. Before each class, a review of the content learned by student was carried out, where questions about the previous class were answered and, when using pair programming, each exercise was evaluated by the pair and the results had a strongly indication of learning. The student did very well in programming classes and will have forever the ability to computational thinking to program and develop his applications.