Grover, S., Pea, R., & Cooper, S. (2015). Designing for deeper learning in a blended computer science course for middle school students. Computer Science Education, 25(2), 199-237.


Type: Empirical

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to "create and test an introductory computer science course for middle school" (p. 199) The course is titled "Foundations for Advancing Computational Thinking" (FACT)

Findings: 1. The average learning gain of students in Study 2 was statistically higher that those in students in Study 1. 2. When taught CT constructs, the students found serial execution easiest followed by conditionals. They found loops were the hardest. 3. Through PfL measure, there is "evidence that students were generally able to understand algorithmic flow of control in snippets of code written in text-based programming languages" (p. 217) 4. Based computing perceptions responses, student moved from naive "computer-centric notions of computer scientist" to a more sophisticated understanding of CS as a problem-solving discipline 5. Students in Study 2 has a mean score of 73.14 that was positively correlated with posttest performance 6. Girls performed better than boys by logging into online course more when school was not in session. 7. Math performance was a positively correlated predictor for performance in the pretest and posttest 8. Curriculum was beneficial to all students regardless of prior experiences.

Recommendations: 1. Create a more robust curriculum proven to work in diverse settings with more emphasis of middle school students and teachers 2. Create a version of FACT for teacher professional development


Sample Size: 54

Participant Type: Students aged 11-14 in grades 6-8.

Notes: There was a total of 7 students who were in ELL programs and 3 students were in special education programs. There was no mention of the type of disability.