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Computing at school: from problems to programs

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for beginners learning to program is how to go from a given word problem to the code that solves it. The OU’s new Level 1 module Introduction to computing and information technology 2 introduces a step-by-step, systematic, scaffolded approach that guides beginners through the process, decoupling the various computational thinking skills needed.

As part of the Institute of Coding’s Theme 4 (widening participation) activities, Dr Michel Wermelinger, co-author of the module, summarised the approach to over 40 school teachers at the ‘speed geek’ event on 15 June, part of the 10th CAS National Conference. The teachers welcomed the approach as it aims to address a familiar issue faced by those teaching coding. Among the insightful conversations with attendants, there were suggestions to develop a more visual rendition of the approach, e.g. for younger pupils using block languages or for students with literacy difficulties.

Computing At School (CAS) is a grassroots organisation of thousands of Computing teachers, IT professionals, higher education academics and others interested in the promotion and teaching of Computing in primary and secondary schools. CAS was instrumental in bringing about and delivering the new Computing curriculum in English schools.