Effects and challenges in teaching robotics for elementary students
The British University in Dubai
Developing the curriculum to support the students' abilities and talents especially in the field of problem-solving and critical thinking is one of the most important objectives that the UAE seeks to achieve. The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of teaching robotics for elementary students to understand the basic concepts of programming. In addition, the study aimed to investigate the challenges of teaching robotics for elementary students as well as the effect of educational robotics on students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The applied programming language is based on programming blocks, and the target group of students is fourth grade students in one American Curriculum School. The number of participants students was 115 students, and he data of this study were gathered through conducting observations, questionnaire, and multiple programming assessments. The process of teaching robotics and programming for the students continued for 11 weeks. After that, the students were asked to solve different programming assessments. The programming assessments conducted three times during robotics course to show the progress of the students’ programming skills. The assessments were applied to evaluate the impact of depending on teaching robotics as main way to teach programming. The results of study showed that using educational robotics is an effective tool that increase the students’ engagement and interest levels in the classes and to develop the students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Additionally, the results indicated that using programming blocks to teach programming helps the students to understand the majority of many programming concepts, but at the same time some concepts were difficult for the students to understand and apply.
programming, qualitative study, United Arab Emirates (UAE), critical thinking skills, robotics, elementary students