Designing to learn tangible programming


The thesis describes a ubiquitous technique for learning tangible coding in R programming language for middle and late elementary school students. It emphasizes the use of inexpensive and durable wooden blocks with no embedded power supplies. These blocks are shaped like the pieces of wooden cubes which contain basic syntax, functions, packages. Students integrate these wooden blocks to create a computer programming syntax in offline settings such as on desks or floor in the classroom. An image of the tangible code is captured using phone and uploaded to 'R' programming language through command line. The representation is eventually converted to R language for interpreters to execute. Alternatively, they can also learn programming through drag and drop interface. This tangible programming technique simulates interests among young programmers. It can help middle and high school students to develop analytical skills, logical thinking, and affection for coding. The hypothesis of this pedagogy is "Programming can be for all ages and be learnt by themselves with minimal given tools". Moreover, this learning approach at an early age helps remembering code syntax and offers more retention rate than traditional classroom intangible programming.