The practical application of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics kits: does it enhance undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language?

Ethan Tsang, Collette Gavan, Mark Anderson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research investigates the extent to which the practical application of robotics affects undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language. Current literature suggests that the practical application of objects enables students to engage and understand concepts within engineering, robotics and computing disciplines easier than purely theoretical teaching methods. This research measures student engagement based on affective, behavioural, cognitive and performance engagement factors. Questionnaires, interviews and observations were exercised in order to explore the reasons that student engagement is affected. The findings suggest that the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics are positively engaging students to learn the Java programming language at an undergraduate level. Negative aspects, of limitations and non-participation, may be explained through external factors including the structure of the module and peer and social pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages121-126
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2014
EventSIGITE Annual Conference on Information Technology Education - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 15 Oct 201418 Oct 2014

Conference

ConferenceSIGITE Annual Conference on Information Technology Education
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta
Period15/10/1418/10/14

Fingerprint

programming language
learning
student
teaching method
engineering
questionnaire
interview
performance

Cite this

Tsang, E., Gavan, C., & Anderson, M. (2014). The practical application of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics kits: does it enhance undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language?. 121-126. Paper presented at SIGITE Annual Conference on Information Technology Education, Atlanta, United States. https://doi.org/10.1145/2656450.2656454
Tsang, Ethan ; Gavan, Collette ; Anderson, Mark. / The practical application of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics kits: does it enhance undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language?. Paper presented at SIGITE Annual Conference on Information Technology Education, Atlanta, United States.
@conference{d7347b5eeca14faca6e75ee8779b3f2e,
title = "The practical application of LEGO{\circledR} MINDSTORMS{\circledR} robotics kits: does it enhance undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language?",
abstract = "This research investigates the extent to which the practical application of robotics affects undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language. Current literature suggests that the practical application of objects enables students to engage and understand concepts within engineering, robotics and computing disciplines easier than purely theoretical teaching methods. This research measures student engagement based on affective, behavioural, cognitive and performance engagement factors. Questionnaires, interviews and observations were exercised in order to explore the reasons that student engagement is affected. The findings suggest that the LEGO{\circledR} MINDSTORMS{\circledR} robotics are positively engaging students to learn the Java programming language at an undergraduate level. Negative aspects, of limitations and non-participation, may be explained through external factors including the structure of the module and peer and social pressure.",
author = "Ethan Tsang and Collette Gavan and Mark Anderson",
note = "1 Szweda, L., Flotynski, J., Wilusz, D. & Dabrowski, P. (2012) 'Robot simulator facilitating the education of concurrent programming' 2012 Federated Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (FedCSIS). pp. 891 -- 896. 2 Safer, A. H. & Alkhezzi, F. A. (2013) 'Beyond Computer Literacy: Technology Integration and Curriculum Transformation' College Student Journal. 47 (4). pp. 614 -- 626. 3 Yu, X. (2012) 'Using LEGO Mindstorms in the undergraduate curriculum of IT' 2012 International Symposium on Information Technology in Medicine and Education (ITME). 1. pp. 270 -- 273. 4 Gavan, C. & Anderson, M. (2013) 'Engaging Undergraduate Programming Students: Experiences using Lego Mindstorms NXT' SIGITE 2013, 23 -- 25 October 2013, Calgary. 5 Jalali, M., Marti, J. J., Kirchkoff, A. L., Lawrenz, F. & Campbell, S. A. (2012) 'A Low-Cost Hands-On Laboratory to Introduce Lithography Concepts' IEEE Transactions on Education. 55 (4). pp. 517 -- 524. 6 Smith, L. A. & Foley, M. (2009) 'Partners in a Human Enterprise: Harkness Teaching in the History Classroom' History Teacher. 42 (4). pp. 477 -- 496. 7 Rao, M. S. (2013) 'Exploring {"}Meka's method{"} to achieve effective teaching and training outcomes' Industrial & Commercial Training. 45 (6). pp. 362 -- 368. 8 Mustafa, B. (2011) 'Modern Computer Architecture Teaching and Learning Support: An Experience in Evaluation' International Conference on Information Society (i-Society 2011), 27--29 June 2011, London. 9 Halvorson, W., Crittenden, V. L. & Pitt, L. (2011) 'Teaching Cases in a Virtual Environment: When the Traditional Case Classroom is Problematic' Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education. 9 (3). pp. 485 -- 492. 10 Barter, B. (2013) 'Rural Schools and Technology: Connecting for Innovation' Australian International Journal of Rural Education. 23 (3). pp. 41 -- 55. 11 Jun, L. & Huiqing, Z. (2012) 'A study on the reform of VB programming teaching methods' 2012 7th International Conference on Computer Science & Education (ICCSE). pp. 1768 -- 1770. 12 Rais, A. E., Sulaiman, S. & Syed-Mohamad, S. M. (2011) 'Game-based approach and its feasibility to support the learning of object-oriented concepts and programming' 2011 5th Malaysian Conference in Software Engineering (MySEC). pp. 307 -- 312 13 Crenshaw, T. L. A. (2013) 'Using Robots and Contract Learning to Teach Cyber-Physical Systems to Undergraduates' IEEE Transactions on Education. 56 (1). pp. 116 -- 120. 14 Behrens, A., Atorf, L., Schwann, R., Neumann, B., Schnitzler, R., Balle, J., Herold, T., Telle, A., Noll, T. G., Hameyer, K. & Aach, T. (2010) 'MATLAB Meets LEGO Mindstorms - A Freshman Introduction Course into Practical Engineering' IEEE Transactions on Education. 53 (2). pp. 306 - 317. 15 Akın, H. L., Meri{\cc}li, {\cC}. & Meri{\cc}lia, T (2012) 'Introduction to autonomous mobile robotics using Lego Mindstorms NXT' Computer Science Education. 23 (4). pp. 368 -- 386. 16 Aroca, R. V., Gomes, R. B., Tavares, D. M., Souza, A. A. S., Burlamaqui, A. M. F., Caurin, G. A. P. & Goncalves, L. M. G. (2013) 'Increasing Students' Interest With Low-Cost CellBots' IEEE Transactions on Education. 56 (1). pp. 3 - 8. 17 Gassert, R., Metzger, J., Leuenbeger, K., Popp, W. L., Tucker, M. R., Vigaru, B., Zimmermann, R. & Lambercy, O. (2013) 'Physical Student-Robot Interaction With the ETHZ Haptic Paddle' IEEE Transactions on Education. 56 (1). pp. 9 - 17. 18 De Cristoforis, P., Pedre, S., Nitsche, M., Fischer, T., Pessacg, F. & Di Pietro, C. (2013) 'A Behavior-Based Approach for Educational Robotics Activities' IEEE Transactions on Education. 56 (1). pp. 61 -- 66. 19 Guthrie, J. T., Anderson, E., Alao, S. & Rinehart, J. (1999) 'Influences of Concept-Orientated Reading Instruction on Strategy Use and Conceptual Learning from Text' The Elementary School Journal. 99 (4). pp. 343 -- 366. 20 Baker, L. & Wigfield, A. (1999) 'Dimensions of children's motivation for reading and their relations to reading activity and reading achievement' Reading Research Quarterly. 34 (4). pp. 452 -- 477. 21 Harris, L. (2011) 'Secondary teachers' conceptions of student engagement: Engagement in learning or in school?' Teaching and Teacher Education. 27 (2). pp. 376 -- 386. 22 Lee, J. (2012) 'The effects of the teacher-student relationship and academic press on student engagement and academic performance' International Journal of Educational Research. 53. pp. 330 -- 340. 23 Stroet, K., Opdenakker, M. & Minnaert, A. (2013) 'Effects of need supportive teaching on early adolescents' motivation and engagement: A review of the literature' Educational Research Review. 9. pp. 65 -- 87. 24 Audas, R. & Willms, J. D. (2001) 'Engagement and Dropping out of School: A life course perspective. Working paper for the Applied Research Branch, Strategic Policy, Human Resources Development Canada. Quebec: HRDC Publications Centre. 25 Finn, J. D. & Rock, D. A. (1997) 'Academic Success Among Students at Risk for School Failure' Journal of Applied Psychology. 82 (2). pp. 221 -- 234. 26 Connell, J. P. & Wellborn, J. G. (1991) Competence, autonomy, and relatedness: A motivational analysis of self-system processes. In M. Gunnar & L. A. Sroufe (Eds), Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology (Vol 23). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 27 Furlong, M. J., Whipple, A. D., St. Jean, G., Simental,J., Soliz, A. & Punthuna, S. (2003) 'Multiple contexts of school engagement: Moving toward a unifying framework for educational research and practice' California School Psychologist. 8. pp. 99 -- 114. 28 Chapman, E (2003) 'Alternative approaches to assessing student engagement rates' Practical assessment, research & evaluation. 8 (13). Retrieved September 16, 2013 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=8&n=13. 29 Mosher, R. & McGowan, B. (1985) Assessing student engagement in secondary schools: Alternative conceptions, strategies of assessing and instruments. University of Wisconsin. Research and Development Center (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 272812). 30 Yazzie-Mintz, E. (2007). Voices of students on engagement: A report on the 2006 High School Survey of Student Engagement. Bloomington: Center of Evaluation & Education Policy, Indiana University. Retrieved September 16, 2013, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED495758.pdf. 31 Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C. & Paris, A. H. (2004) 'School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence' Review of Educational Research. 74 (1). pp. 59 -- 109. 32 Handelsman, M. M., Briggs, W. L., Sullivan, N. & Towler, A. (2005) 'A Measure of College Student Course Engagement' The Journal of Educational Research. 98 (3). pp. 184 -- 192. 33 National Survey of Student Engagement. (2000) 'The NSSE report: National benchmarks of effective educational practice. Bloomington: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and Planning. 34 Skinner, E. A., Kindermann, T. A. & Furrer, C. J. (2009) 'A Motivational Perspective on Engagement and Disaffection' Educational and Psychological Measurement. 69(3). pp.493 --525. 35 National Survey of Student Engagement. (2002) '2002 Annual Report From Promise to Progress: How Colleges and Universities Are Using Student Engagement Results to Improve Collegiate Quality' Bloomington: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and Planning. 36 Sansone, C. & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2000) Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation and performance. San Diego: Academic Press. 37 Veiga, F. H. (2012) 'Proposal to the PISA of a New Scale of Students' Engagement in School' 4th World Conference on Educational Sciences (WCES-2012) 02-05. 46. pp. 1224 -- 1231. 38 Brackett, M. A., Reyes, M. R., Rivers, S. E., Elbertson, N. A. & Salovey, P. (2011) 'Classroom Emotional Climate, Teacher Affiliation, and Student Conduct' Journal of Classroom Interaction. 46 (1). pp. 27 -- 36. 39 Rastegar, A., Jahromi, R. G., Haghighi, A. S. & Akbari, A. R. (2010) 'The relation of epistemological beliefs and mathematics achievement: the mediating role of achievement goals, mathematics self-efficacy, and cognitive engagement' Procedia -- Social and Behavioural Services. 5. pp. 791 -- 797. 40 Akiva, T., Cortina, K. S., Eccles, J. S. & Smith, C. (2013) 'Youth belonging and cognitive engagement in organized activities: A large-scale field study' Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. 34 (5). pp. 208 -- 218. 41 Font, S. & Maguire-Jack, K. (2013) 'Academic engagement and performance: Estimating the impact of out-of-home care for maltreated children' Children and Youth Services Review. 53 (5). pp. 856 -- 864.; SIGITE Annual Conference on Information Technology Education ; Conference date: 15-10-2014 Through 18-10-2014",
year = "2014",
month = "10",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1145/2656450.2656454",
language = "English",
pages = "121--126",

}

Tsang, E, Gavan, C & Anderson, M 2014, 'The practical application of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics kits: does it enhance undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language?' Paper presented at SIGITE Annual Conference on Information Technology Education, Atlanta, United States, 15/10/14 - 18/10/14, pp. 121-126. https://doi.org/10.1145/2656450.2656454

The practical application of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics kits: does it enhance undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language? / Tsang, Ethan; Gavan, Collette; Anderson, Mark.

2014. 121-126 Paper presented at SIGITE Annual Conference on Information Technology Education, Atlanta, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - The practical application of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics kits: does it enhance undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language?

AU - Tsang, Ethan

AU - Gavan, Collette

AU - Anderson, Mark

N1 - 1 Szweda, L., Flotynski, J., Wilusz, D. & Dabrowski, P. (2012) 'Robot simulator facilitating the education of concurrent programming' 2012 Federated Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (FedCSIS). pp. 891 -- 896. 2 Safer, A. H. & Alkhezzi, F. A. (2013) 'Beyond Computer Literacy: Technology Integration and Curriculum Transformation' College Student Journal. 47 (4). pp. 614 -- 626. 3 Yu, X. (2012) 'Using LEGO Mindstorms in the undergraduate curriculum of IT' 2012 International Symposium on Information Technology in Medicine and Education (ITME). 1. pp. 270 -- 273. 4 Gavan, C. & Anderson, M. (2013) 'Engaging Undergraduate Programming Students: Experiences using Lego Mindstorms NXT' SIGITE 2013, 23 -- 25 October 2013, Calgary. 5 Jalali, M., Marti, J. J., Kirchkoff, A. L., Lawrenz, F. & Campbell, S. A. (2012) 'A Low-Cost Hands-On Laboratory to Introduce Lithography Concepts' IEEE Transactions on Education. 55 (4). pp. 517 -- 524. 6 Smith, L. A. & Foley, M. (2009) 'Partners in a Human Enterprise: Harkness Teaching in the History Classroom' History Teacher. 42 (4). pp. 477 -- 496. 7 Rao, M. S. (2013) 'Exploring "Meka's method" to achieve effective teaching and training outcomes' Industrial & Commercial Training. 45 (6). pp. 362 -- 368. 8 Mustafa, B. (2011) 'Modern Computer Architecture Teaching and Learning Support: An Experience in Evaluation' International Conference on Information Society (i-Society 2011), 27--29 June 2011, London. 9 Halvorson, W., Crittenden, V. L. & Pitt, L. (2011) 'Teaching Cases in a Virtual Environment: When the Traditional Case Classroom is Problematic' Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education. 9 (3). pp. 485 -- 492. 10 Barter, B. (2013) 'Rural Schools and Technology: Connecting for Innovation' Australian International Journal of Rural Education. 23 (3). pp. 41 -- 55. 11 Jun, L. & Huiqing, Z. (2012) 'A study on the reform of VB programming teaching methods' 2012 7th International Conference on Computer Science & Education (ICCSE). pp. 1768 -- 1770. 12 Rais, A. E., Sulaiman, S. & Syed-Mohamad, S. M. (2011) 'Game-based approach and its feasibility to support the learning of object-oriented concepts and programming' 2011 5th Malaysian Conference in Software Engineering (MySEC). pp. 307 -- 312 13 Crenshaw, T. L. A. (2013) 'Using Robots and Contract Learning to Teach Cyber-Physical Systems to Undergraduates' IEEE Transactions on Education. 56 (1). pp. 116 -- 120. 14 Behrens, A., Atorf, L., Schwann, R., Neumann, B., Schnitzler, R., Balle, J., Herold, T., Telle, A., Noll, T. G., Hameyer, K. & Aach, T. (2010) 'MATLAB Meets LEGO Mindstorms - A Freshman Introduction Course into Practical Engineering' IEEE Transactions on Education. 53 (2). pp. 306 - 317. 15 Akın, H. L., Meriçli, Ç. & Meriçlia, T (2012) 'Introduction to autonomous mobile robotics using Lego Mindstorms NXT' Computer Science Education. 23 (4). pp. 368 -- 386. 16 Aroca, R. V., Gomes, R. B., Tavares, D. M., Souza, A. A. S., Burlamaqui, A. M. F., Caurin, G. A. P. & Goncalves, L. M. G. (2013) 'Increasing Students' Interest With Low-Cost CellBots' IEEE Transactions on Education. 56 (1). pp. 3 - 8. 17 Gassert, R., Metzger, J., Leuenbeger, K., Popp, W. L., Tucker, M. R., Vigaru, B., Zimmermann, R. & Lambercy, O. (2013) 'Physical Student-Robot Interaction With the ETHZ Haptic Paddle' IEEE Transactions on Education. 56 (1). pp. 9 - 17. 18 De Cristoforis, P., Pedre, S., Nitsche, M., Fischer, T., Pessacg, F. & Di Pietro, C. (2013) 'A Behavior-Based Approach for Educational Robotics Activities' IEEE Transactions on Education. 56 (1). pp. 61 -- 66. 19 Guthrie, J. T., Anderson, E., Alao, S. & Rinehart, J. (1999) 'Influences of Concept-Orientated Reading Instruction on Strategy Use and Conceptual Learning from Text' The Elementary School Journal. 99 (4). pp. 343 -- 366. 20 Baker, L. & Wigfield, A. (1999) 'Dimensions of children's motivation for reading and their relations to reading activity and reading achievement' Reading Research Quarterly. 34 (4). pp. 452 -- 477. 21 Harris, L. (2011) 'Secondary teachers' conceptions of student engagement: Engagement in learning or in school?' Teaching and Teacher Education. 27 (2). pp. 376 -- 386. 22 Lee, J. (2012) 'The effects of the teacher-student relationship and academic press on student engagement and academic performance' International Journal of Educational Research. 53. pp. 330 -- 340. 23 Stroet, K., Opdenakker, M. & Minnaert, A. (2013) 'Effects of need supportive teaching on early adolescents' motivation and engagement: A review of the literature' Educational Research Review. 9. pp. 65 -- 87. 24 Audas, R. & Willms, J. D. (2001) 'Engagement and Dropping out of School: A life course perspective. Working paper for the Applied Research Branch, Strategic Policy, Human Resources Development Canada. Quebec: HRDC Publications Centre. 25 Finn, J. D. & Rock, D. A. (1997) 'Academic Success Among Students at Risk for School Failure' Journal of Applied Psychology. 82 (2). pp. 221 -- 234. 26 Connell, J. P. & Wellborn, J. G. (1991) Competence, autonomy, and relatedness: A motivational analysis of self-system processes. In M. Gunnar & L. A. Sroufe (Eds), Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology (Vol 23). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 27 Furlong, M. J., Whipple, A. D., St. Jean, G., Simental,J., Soliz, A. & Punthuna, S. (2003) 'Multiple contexts of school engagement: Moving toward a unifying framework for educational research and practice' California School Psychologist. 8. pp. 99 -- 114. 28 Chapman, E (2003) 'Alternative approaches to assessing student engagement rates' Practical assessment, research & evaluation. 8 (13). Retrieved September 16, 2013 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=8&n=13. 29 Mosher, R. & McGowan, B. (1985) Assessing student engagement in secondary schools: Alternative conceptions, strategies of assessing and instruments. University of Wisconsin. Research and Development Center (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 272812). 30 Yazzie-Mintz, E. (2007). Voices of students on engagement: A report on the 2006 High School Survey of Student Engagement. Bloomington: Center of Evaluation & Education Policy, Indiana University. Retrieved September 16, 2013, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED495758.pdf. 31 Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C. & Paris, A. H. (2004) 'School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence' Review of Educational Research. 74 (1). pp. 59 -- 109. 32 Handelsman, M. M., Briggs, W. L., Sullivan, N. & Towler, A. (2005) 'A Measure of College Student Course Engagement' The Journal of Educational Research. 98 (3). pp. 184 -- 192. 33 National Survey of Student Engagement. (2000) 'The NSSE report: National benchmarks of effective educational practice. Bloomington: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and Planning. 34 Skinner, E. A., Kindermann, T. A. & Furrer, C. J. (2009) 'A Motivational Perspective on Engagement and Disaffection' Educational and Psychological Measurement. 69(3). pp.493 --525. 35 National Survey of Student Engagement. (2002) '2002 Annual Report From Promise to Progress: How Colleges and Universities Are Using Student Engagement Results to Improve Collegiate Quality' Bloomington: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and Planning. 36 Sansone, C. & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2000) Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation and performance. San Diego: Academic Press. 37 Veiga, F. H. (2012) 'Proposal to the PISA of a New Scale of Students' Engagement in School' 4th World Conference on Educational Sciences (WCES-2012) 02-05. 46. pp. 1224 -- 1231. 38 Brackett, M. A., Reyes, M. R., Rivers, S. E., Elbertson, N. A. & Salovey, P. (2011) 'Classroom Emotional Climate, Teacher Affiliation, and Student Conduct' Journal of Classroom Interaction. 46 (1). pp. 27 -- 36. 39 Rastegar, A., Jahromi, R. G., Haghighi, A. S. & Akbari, A. R. (2010) 'The relation of epistemological beliefs and mathematics achievement: the mediating role of achievement goals, mathematics self-efficacy, and cognitive engagement' Procedia -- Social and Behavioural Services. 5. pp. 791 -- 797. 40 Akiva, T., Cortina, K. S., Eccles, J. S. & Smith, C. (2013) 'Youth belonging and cognitive engagement in organized activities: A large-scale field study' Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. 34 (5). pp. 208 -- 218. 41 Font, S. & Maguire-Jack, K. (2013) 'Academic engagement and performance: Estimating the impact of out-of-home care for maltreated children' Children and Youth Services Review. 53 (5). pp. 856 -- 864.

PY - 2014/10/15

Y1 - 2014/10/15

N2 - This research investigates the extent to which the practical application of robotics affects undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language. Current literature suggests that the practical application of objects enables students to engage and understand concepts within engineering, robotics and computing disciplines easier than purely theoretical teaching methods. This research measures student engagement based on affective, behavioural, cognitive and performance engagement factors. Questionnaires, interviews and observations were exercised in order to explore the reasons that student engagement is affected. The findings suggest that the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics are positively engaging students to learn the Java programming language at an undergraduate level. Negative aspects, of limitations and non-participation, may be explained through external factors including the structure of the module and peer and social pressure.

AB - This research investigates the extent to which the practical application of robotics affects undergraduate computing students' engagement in learning the Java programming language. Current literature suggests that the practical application of objects enables students to engage and understand concepts within engineering, robotics and computing disciplines easier than purely theoretical teaching methods. This research measures student engagement based on affective, behavioural, cognitive and performance engagement factors. Questionnaires, interviews and observations were exercised in order to explore the reasons that student engagement is affected. The findings suggest that the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics are positively engaging students to learn the Java programming language at an undergraduate level. Negative aspects, of limitations and non-participation, may be explained through external factors including the structure of the module and peer and social pressure.

U2 - 10.1145/2656450.2656454

DO - 10.1145/2656450.2656454

M3 - Paper

SP - 121

EP - 126

ER -