Learning Computational Thinking in Augmented Reality

HyperCubes is an augmented reality platform to help children understand computational concepts drawn from their physical surroundings, from their most immediate and tangible reality. Children become creators and learn while tinkering with commands such as transformations in space that control little characters or geometry shapes.

Computational thinking has been described as a basic skill that should be included in the educational curriculum. Several online screen-based platforms for learning computational thinking have been developed during the past decades. In this thesis we propose the concept of Embodied Spatial Programming as a new and potentially improved programming paradigm for learning computational thinking in space. We have developed HyperCubes, an example of an augmented reality authoring platform that makes use of this paradigm. With a set of qualitative user studies we have assessed the engagement levels and the potential learning outcomes of the application. Through space, the physical environment, creativity and play the user is able to tinker with basic programming concepts that can lead to a better adoption of computational thinking skills.

Fusté Lleixà, Anna. Hypercubes: learning computational thinking through embodied spatial programming in augmented reality. Diss. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018.

Fuste, Anna, and Chris Schmandt. “HyperCubes: A Playful Introduction to Computational Thinking in Augmented Reality.” Extended Abstracts of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play Companion Extended Abstracts. 2019.

Hypercubes poster
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