Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Hackathons for Kids: Looking Closer at Computational Thinking. A Qualitative Case Study
by Ranft, Debra, EDD/ET, University of Phoenix, 2020, 183; 28259674
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how hackathons designed for students aged nine to thirteen might provide children with an opportunity to demonstrate computational thinking (CT) skills. The use of an exploratory single case study design was applied through an examination of archival data in the form of videos from hackathon workshops, team presentations and digital prototypes created at hackathons which target children aged nine to thirteen. The setting included two to four Hackathon Jr. events held across the United States and included a sample size of 83 children. The evidence centered design (ECD) approach helped the researcher design the instrument used for data analysis centered around CT concepts previously identified. The constant comparative method was completed through first and second cycle coding methods. First cycle coding methods were applied simultaneously and included attribute, descriptive and In Vivo coding procedures, providing clarity to the CT concepts identified through ECD. Second cycle coding methods included code landscaping and pattern analysis, resulting in a thick description of themes identified. The CT themes identified by the study included collaboration, programming choices leading to the creation of a digital solution, and communication. Recommendations to leaders and practitioners included leveraging of available tools to support 21st century skill acquisition, such as a combination of blockbased programming environments with a hackathon approach as an instructional environment focused on real-world problem solving with technology. Future research recommended included an exploration on critical thinking skills demonstrated by children at hackathons. 

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dikes, Catherine G.
Commitee: Gavin, Diane, Munday, Donald
School: University of Phoenix
Department: School of Advanced Studies
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, Computer science, Educational technology, Technical Communication, Educational administration, Science education
Keywords: Collaboration, Computational thinking, Evidence-centered design, Hackathon workshops, United States, Digital prototypes, In Vivo coding, 21st century skill acquisition, Blockbased programming
Publication Number: 28259674
ISBN: 9798698579083
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