Computational Thinking in Solving Engineering Problems – A Conceptual Model

  • Choon Hui Neo Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
  • Jee Khai Wong Institute of Informatics and Computing in Energy (IICE), Universiti Tenaga Nasional, MALAYSIA
  • Voon Chiet Chai School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS), Heriot-Watt University, MALAYSIA
  • Yaw Long Chua Institute of Informatics and Computing in Energy (IICE), Universiti Tenaga Nasional, MALAYSIA
  • Yeh Huann Hoh Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Keywords: computational thinking, education, Programming, Teaching and Learning

Abstract

Programming is an excellent approach to cultivating computational thinking (CT) skills lacking among current engineering undergraduate students. Although highly useful in teaching programming skills, physical, tangible programming tools available in the market are limited to users aged 12 and below, a gap that impedes the effort to cultivate problem-solving skills and computational thinking among engineering students. As a result, many students who join engineering programmes are without solid computer programming skills. This paper proposes a method to tackle the said gap by applying physical programming education blocks. The programming blocks have various logical functions and input-output capabilities that allow decision-making, looping, and function calling. Users can build their logical thinking skills in the form of cause-and-effect analysis using the play method. Through this approach, students can enhance their programming skills, which improves their computational thinking ability and complex problem-solving skills. It is hoped that such an approach could help them in transiting from tangible programming to text-based programming.

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Published
2021-09-14
How to Cite
Neo, C. H., Wong, J. K., Chai, V. C., Chua, Y. L., & Hoh, Y. H. (2021). Computational Thinking in Solving Engineering Problems – A Conceptual Model. Asian Journal of Assessment in Teaching and Learning, 11(2), 24-31. https://doi.org/10.37134/ajatel.vol11.2.3.2021