Mapping Computational Thinking for a Transformative Pedagogy

  • Michael Vallance
  • Phillip A. Towndrow


The chapter presents learners’ understanding of Computational Thinking concepts through illustrative flowcharts. Undergraduate university students design, build, and program LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots to solve problems set as robotic tasks in a symbolic disaster scenario. Post-task flowcharts representing mental models of Computational Thinking are drawn as students reflect upon their problem-solving processes. The flowcharts are then compared with the semiotic representation of the programmed solutions. It was ascertained that students were able to express recognition of the Computational Thinking concepts of modularity, decomposition, and algorithmic logic but had difficulty expressing explicit recognition of generalization and abstraction. Subsequent implications for teaching and learning are then addressed at length in terms of task design and pedagogy.


Computational thinking Design Education Japan Learning Mindstorms Pedagogy Programming Seymour Papert Robots Tasks 



The research is supported by JAIST kakenhi [grant number 15K01080]. Many thanks to students in the iVERG lab at Future University Hakodate, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Vallance
    • 1
  • Phillip A. Towndrow
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Media ArchitectureFuture University HakodateHokkaidoJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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