Date of Submission

Spring 2014

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Computer Science; Mind, Brain, and Behavior

Project Advisor 1

Keith O'Hara

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This project examines and analyses the data from several Institute for Personal Robots in Education (IPRE) studies in 2007, 2009 and 2010 that judged students attitudes of computer science before and after an introductory computer science course. The course was run in two conditions: a class involving robots and a class with no robots. The 2007 studies found that students in the robot classes did 10% better on average in the course than those students in the non-robots class. The data from the most recent studies show that while robots may increase performance in the class, they did not seem to have any significant effects on changing attitudes or perceptions. However, robots did increase the likelihood that students discussed their assignments and lectures with their peers, a factor that could lead to increasing involvement in computer science. This senior project aims to take their research further with another follow-up study that address two research questions. How much computer science can someone actually learn in an hour, and is an hour enough to change peoples’ perceptions of computer science? Secondly, what are the differences between using robots to teach computer science versus using robot simulations? To answer these questions hour-long coding workshops were designed based on the principles of Hour of Code and the Institute for Personal Robots in Education, which would introduce participants to programming a Scribbler robot.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.