Seiter, L. (2015). Using SOLO to Classify the Programming Responses of Primary Grade Students. In Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 540-545). New York: ACM.


Type: Empirical

Purpose: "This paper presents an assessment designed to measure computational thinking skills of fourth grade students. The students in two public schools were given a set of Scratch programming challenges. The SOLO taxonomy was used to classify student programming responses based on the degree of understanding of the problem structure." (p. 540)

Findings: "The majority of fourth grade students from one school demonstrated the ability to synchronize the costume and motion of a single character sprite, as well as synchronize a basic conversation between multiple sprites. However, they struggled to integrate motion and costume changes into a multi-sprite conversation. The majority of fourth grade students from the second school, where reading and math comprehension scores fall below the state minimum requirements for proficiency, were unable to demonstrate a basic understanding of the programming tasks." (p. 540)

Recommendations: "The results suggest that fourth grade students who read at grade level are capable of understanding the relationships between multiple concerns within a single script, along with synchronizing a single concern across multiple scripts, but are challenged when synchronizing multiple concerns across multiple scripts." (p. 540) In essence, the reading level at a specific grade should first be reached for the synchronization of multiple concerns across multiple sprites to then be realized by these students.


Sample Size: 2

Participant Type: Students; teachers were only support staff to the author who was the main instructor of Scratch.

Notes: The sample is 2 public elementary schools, with 2 fourth grade classes at each