Conference paper Open Access

On making, tinkering, coding and play for learning: A review of current research

Timotheou Stella; Ioannou Andri

Although a few researchers have recently focused on the value of making, tinkering, coding, and play in learning, a synthesis of this work is cur-rently missing, creating an unclear path for future research in this area. Compu-tational-making-enhanced activities, framed as activities promoting making, tinkering, coding and play in the learning process, have gained a lot of attention during the last decade. This study provides a review of the existing research in this area, published in academic journals, from 2009 to 2018. We examine learning gains linked to learners’ participation in computational making-enhanced activities in formal and non-formal education settings. We further overview the research methods, the educational level, and the context of the published studies. The review of selected studies has shown that most of the re-search has been conducted in non-formal and informal education settings, how-ever a shift to formal education has appeared since 2016. Most studies have fo-cused on programming and computer science with middle-school learners. Im-mediate action is needed to inform the design of computational-making-enhanced activities directly linked to curriculum goals. Given the lack of syn-thesis of work on computational-making, the review can have considerable val-ue for researchers and practitioners in the field.

This work has been partly supported by the project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739578 (RISE – Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2) and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.
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