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Computational concepts, practices, and collaboration in high school students’ debugging electronic textile projects.

Abstract

Debugging, a recurrent practice while programming, can reveal significant information about student learning. Making electronic textile (e-textile) artifacts entails numerous opportunities for students to debug across circuitry, coding, crafting and designing domains. In this study, 69 high school students worked on a series of four different e-textiles projects over eight weeks as a part of their introductory computer science course. We analyzed debugging challenges and resolutions reported by students in their portfolios and interviews and found not only a wide range of computational concepts but also the development of specific computational practices such as being iterative and incremental in students' debugging e-textiles projects. In the discussion, we address the need for more studies to recognize other computational practices such as abstraction and modularization, the potential of hybrid contexts for debugging, and the social aspects of debugging.