Design Concepts, Principles and Patterns in the Curriculum of the New Computing Education Era
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDesigns for Learning. 2019, 11 (1), 141-153. http://doi.org/10.16993/dfl.140
Ubiquitous Computing, Mobile Computing and the Internet of Things (collectively referred to as UMI herein) involve recent advances in technology areas such as low-cost and miniaturized processing and sensing technologies, high-bandwidth wireless networking and so on. UMI technologies can also sup-port the recent attempts to reform computing education. Yet, to accomplish this potential, relevant UMI learning scenarios are needed. Creating such scenarios can be challenging, since this particular field of computing education is still in its infancy. This paper discusses learning design knowledge which can orientate the future design of UMI learning scenarios. Content analysis was applied on ten quality UMI-oriented learning scenarios. The scenarios were freely accessible in online platforms, and they were designed for middle school education and for the UMI domain. Two different methodological approaches were employed: the first one involved mapping the scenarios to existing predefined learning design elements (i.e. design concepts, design principles, and design patterns). The learning design elements were previously defined in an online database and they involved ubiquitous tools. The second method involved mapping the scenarios to the parameters of a UMI learning ecology. The performed analysis revealed design concepts, principles, patterns and key characteristics underpinning the selected UMI scenarios: they cater for students’ active learning and engage them in interdisciplinary projects in which students are learning across contexts in groups and solve meaningful problems that exploit the functionalities of the UMI technologies. Several recommendations concerning the creation of quality UMI learning scenarios are suggested, such as: striking a balance between conceptual understanding and 21st century lifelong learning skills, highlighting how students’ collaboration is expected to happen in a UMI scenario, providing many opportunities for instructional scaffolding and explicitly mentioning spatiotemporal aspects of the UMI scenarios. These findings could be of interest to computing education researchers, tutors, and cur-riculum designers who wish to design UMI oriented educational scenarios.