Scratch is one of the most popular ways to teach younger children to code in K–8 throughout the U.S. and Europe. Despite its popularity, Scratch lacks a formative feedback tool to inform students and teachers of a student's progress in coding ability. Dr. Scratch was built to fill this need. This study seeks to answer if using Dr. Scratch as a formative feedback tool accelerates the students' progress in coding ability and Computational Thinking (CT). Forty-one 4th-6th grade students participated in a 1-hour/week Scratch workshop for nine weeks. We measured pre- and posttest results of the Computational Thinking Test (CTt) between control (n = 18) and treatment groups (n = 23) using three methods: propensity score matching (treatment = .575; control = .607; p = .696), information maximum likelihood technique (treatment effect = -.09; p = .006), and multiple linear regression. Both groups demonstrated significant increased posttest scores over their pretest (treatment = +8.31%; control = +5.43%), though which group improved the most varied depending on which test was run. We discuss the implications of using Dr. Scratch as a formative feedback tool and recommend further research on the use of such tools in elementary coding experiences.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Browning, Samuel Frank, "Using Dr. Scratch as a Formative Feedback Tool to Assess Computational Thinking" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 6659.
Computational thinking, Scratch, computational thinking test