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Giving appropriate feedback to primary school children

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Programming in primary schools presents a lot of opportunities, such as the chance to promote positive attitudes towards computer science at an early stage. At the same time, educators need to give corrective feedback that can enhance learning, but might also reduce positive emotions. In this seminar, we will therefore focus on strategies for giving appropriate feedback. We present some findings of our survey conducted with experienced teachers and the results of our own workshops where we evaluated different feedback options and the children’s opinions on them. By this, we want to describe not only the content of the feedback but also discuss encouraging ways of giving it. Another strategy to support the process of giving feedback is using automated analysis tools. We therefore show the Litterbox tool that detects bug patterns, smells, and so-called perfumes in Scratch and mBlock code.


Luisa Greifenstein did her degree in primary school education and in media computer science. She now connects her two interests in the project “primary::programming” at the University of Passau, Germany, where she is currently doing her PhD. Luisa is keen on finding encouraging ways of giving corrective feedback and thereby engaging children in programming. She has given multiple workshops and courses for primary school children on creative physical computing and first software programming. In all this, she seeks to include the educational inspiration received from her Montessori diploma course.

This talk is part of the Computing Education Research series.

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