Capturing and Characterising Notional Machines

Sally Fincher, Johan Jeuring, Craig S. Miller, Peter Donaldson, Benedict du Boulay, Matthias Hauswirth, Arto Hellas, Felienne Hermans, Colleen M. Lewis, Andreas Mühling, Janice L. Pearce, Andrew Petersen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A notional machine is a pedagogic device to assist the understanding of some aspect of programs or programming. It is typically used to support explaining a programming construct, or the user-understandable semantics of a program. For example, a variable is like a box with a label, and assignment copies or moves a value into that box. This working group will capture examples of notional machines from actual pedagogical practice, as expressed in textbooks (or other teaching materials) or used in the classroom. We will interview at least 30 teachers about their experience with, and perceptions of, the use of notional machines in teaching. Using the interviews, we will work on devising and refining a form to characterise essential features of notional machines. We will also attempt to relate them to each other to describe potential learning sequences or progressions. The working group report will contain descriptions of notional machines used at different levels in education, in different countries, by many teachers. Capturing and Characterising Notional Machines Sally Fincher, Johan Jeuring, Craig S Miller Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for third-party components of this work must be honored. For all other uses, contact the owner/author(s). ITiCSE 2020,,Trondheim, Norway © 2020 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). 978-1-4503-0000-0/18/06...$15.00 https://doi.org/10.1145/1234567890 The resulting catalogue of notional machines will allow a teacher to select a machine for a particular use, permit comparison between them, and provide a starting point for further categorization and analysis of notional machines. Additionally, we will make more theoretical explorations. We will explore a variety of presentational formats, examining what is necessary and what superfluous; we will look for dimensions of comparison and will examine how notional machines are instantiated across the discipline. We argue that the creation and use of notional machines is potentially a signature pedagogy for computing [1] and that creating and using notional machines represents a certain level of pedagogic sophistication that might be an indicator of pedagogic content knowledge (PCK).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
Subtitle of host publicationITiCSE 2020
EditorsMichail N. Giannakos, Guttorm Sindre, Andrew Luxton-Reilly, Monica Divitini
Place of PublicationNew York
Publisheracm
Pages502-503
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6874-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Event2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education - Online, Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 17 Jun 202018 Jun 2020
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3341525

Conference

Conference2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
Abbreviated titleITiCSE '20
CountryNorway
CityTrondheim
Period17/06/2018/06/20
Internet address

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