Characterizing Computational Thinking for the Learning of Tertiary Educational Programs

  • Salman Firdaus Sidek UPSI
  • Che Soh Said UPSI
  • Maizatul Hayati Mohamad Yatim UPSI
Keywords: computational thinking, educational programs, online repositories, tertiary education

Abstract

Abstract

Computational thinking is a new concept that is hardly known by most ordinary Malaysians. On a positive note, in 2017, the Ministry of Education of Malaysia implemented a new curriculum by introducing two new secondary school subjects, namely Fundamental of Computer Science and Computer Science. These subjects contain five components of computational thinking called ‘techniques, which are taught to Form 1 and Form 4 students, respectively. Likewise, the Department of Teachers Education of Malaysia also introduced six components of computational thinking in its training programs. In contrast, there is a lack of attention to such a concept given to tertiary education. A preliminary survey was conducted in early 2019, which involved 50 students majoring in 21 educational programs. The findings showed 92% of the respondents had no knowledge regarding the computational thinking skill, signifying an urgent need to determine relevant components that characterize such a skill needed in educational programs, which according to Wing (2006) has numerous components. In this study, the researchers aimed to identify relevant components that characterize the computational thinking skill required for students in learning educational programs. An extensive review of documents published in leading online databases, such as IEEEXplore, Science Direct, and Web of Science, was carried out that yielded 116 articles.  Further analysis reduced this number to 29 articles that were related to the characterization of the computational thinking skill with 66 components. Among these components, algorithm, abstraction, and decomposition were the top three components with the highest frequency of being cited in the selected articles, registering percentage points of 9.78%, 7.41%, and 5.35%, respectively. As such, the design and development of new instructional approaches for the teaching of educational programs should emphasize three components to help students develop strong computational thinking skills.

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Published
2020-06-09
How to Cite
Sidek, S. F., Said, C. S., & Mohamad Yatim, M. H. (2020). Characterizing Computational Thinking for the Learning of Tertiary Educational Programs. Journal of ICT in Education, 7(1), 65-83. Retrieved from https://ejournal.upsi.edu.my/index.php/JICTIE/article/view/3980