Playing, Constructionism, and Music in Early-Stage Software Engineering Education

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4995/muse.2022.16453

Keywords:

constructionism, construction-blocks, music, design, children, LEGO®

Abstract

Understanding that design involves trade-offs, thinking at multiple levels of abstraction, and considering the cohesion and coupling between sub-components of a larger whole is an important part of software (and other) engineering. It can be challenging to convey such abstract design concepts to novice engineers, especially for materials that are themselves abstract (e.g. software). Such challenges are compounded when teaching at the secondary school stage where students have limited experience of large-scale design problems that motivate the need for abstraction at all. In this paper, we describe a method for introducing these concepts to secondary school students using LEGO® and Raspberry Pi computers, asking them to build musical instruments as an entertaining way of motivating engagement with learning about design through play. The method has been successfully piloted in a series of three classroom sessions and key observations and experiences of using the method are presented.

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Author Biographies

Nicolas E. Gold, University College London

Associate Professor UCL Computer Science

Ross Purves, University College London

Associate Professor UCL Institute of Education

Evangelos Himonides, University College London

Professor of Technology, Education, and Music UCL Institute of Education

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Published

2022-04-05

How to Cite

Gold, N. E., Purves, R., & Himonides, E. (2022). Playing, Constructionism, and Music in Early-Stage Software Engineering Education. Multidisciplinary Journal for Education, Social and Technological Sciences, 9(1), 14–38. https://doi.org/10.4995/muse.2022.16453

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