University of Oulu

Triggering women’s interest in programming within physical computing context

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Author: Park, Chaeah1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Pages: 80
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : C. Park, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-11-12
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Siklander, Pirkko
Reviewer: Siklander, Pirkko
Vuopala, Essi
In spite of numerous educational practices and initiatives in programming (Rubio, Romero-Zaliz, Mañoso, & Angel, 2015), women show less participation in learning programming compared to men (Faulkner & McClard, 2014; Harris, 2014). Lack of interest and motivation could explain the gender gap (Faulkner & McClard, 2014; Fisher & Margolis 2002). Interest can be raised and kept high by a variety of triggers, therefore they are salient motivational factors, which can lead to motivation and finally to engagement (Kangas, Siklander, Randolph, & Ruokamo, 2017; Krapp, 2003; Renninger & Bachrach, 2015; Siklander, Kangas, Ruhalahti, & Korva, 2017). This study therefore aims to explore factors, which can trigger women’s interest in programming within physical computing context. Following research questions were formulated: 1) which educational factors potentially work as triggers in physical computing workshops? 2) which aspects of women’s interest in programming are developed through the triggers in physical computing workshops? 3) how are the triggers correlated with the women’s interest in programming? 4) how the educational factors work as parts of triggering process for the interest development in programming? Through case study data were collected by observing and interviewing participants with pre-planned format (Yin, 2014). The observation data were examined with time-series analysis and interview data were studied by applying inductive content analysis (Schreier, 2012). The data integration was implemented to see interconnectedness from two different data in the end of the analysis process (Moran-Ellis et al., 2006). The results show various educational interventions originated from learning contents, facilitators, students and contexts potentially worked as triggers in terms of women’s interest in programming. The results indicate that it is important to take various triggers into accounts as parts of triggering process because all triggers work in mutually supportive way, which is in line with the earlier study (Renninger & Bachrach, 2015). This study implies educators are recommended to understand relationships between educational sources and learners’ interest development when designing and/or preparing programming workshops or courses to embrace diverse learners regardless of gender.
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