Franklin, D., Conrad, P., Boe, B., Nilsen, K., Hill, C., Len, M., ... & Laird, C. (2013). Assessment of computer science learning in a scratch-based outreach program. In Proceeding of the 44th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education (pp. 371-376). New York: ACM.


Type: Empirical

Purpose: "We address two questions, one specific, and the other more general: (1) “What computer science did our middle school students learn in our interdisciplinary two week summer camp?” (2) “How can computer science concepts be assessed in the context of Scratchbased outreach programs”? We address both questions by presenting the design of our summer camp, an overview of our curriculum, our assessment methodology, and our assessment results" (p. 1)

Findings: "Though the sample size is not statistically significant, the results show that a two-week, interdisciplinary, non-academic summer camp can be effective not only for engaging students, but also for imparting CS content. In just two weeks, with a curriculum not entirely focused on computer science, students displayed competence with event-driven programming, initialization of state, message passing, and say/sound synchronization1" (p. 1).

Recommendations: "We have employed assessment methodologies that avoid written exams, an approach both outreach and classroom-based programs may find useful" (p. 1). "We also note that, outreach programs, while valuable for the students that participate, reach only a small segment of the population.It is likely that integration of computer science into K-12 standards and curricula will have a broader impact. By pairing our curriculum with a curriculum teaching variables, loops, and conditionals, students can be exposed to a broad set of topics that can be applied to many different subjects required in schools today" (p. 6).


Sample Size: 22

Participant Type: Students

Notes: Animal Tlatoque, two-week summer camp for middle school students