Final paper published in the 2017 FIE Conference proceedings.

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The Computational Thinking (CT) conceptual framework is entering its second decade of research yet still lacks a cohesive definition by which the field can coalesce. The lack of clear definition makes assessment tool challenging to formulate, pedagogical efforts difficult to compare, and research difficult to synthesize. This paper looks to operationalize differing definitions of CT enhancing the ability to teach then assess the presence of CT. Expanding upon CT definitions, industry practices and processes, and educational theory, we link existing concepts and propose a new element to model an active definition of CT as a theoretical framework to guide future research. Our model updates existing CT definition by formally including Modeling, introducing Socio-Technical processes, separating Information Gathering from Data Collection and adding emphasis to Testing as a vital CT concept. We feel these elements and interconnections make CT is easier to describe and measure.


Abstraction, Computational Thinking, Modeling, Testing, Debugging

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