Teaching computational thinking to applied science majors: What and how

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Since Jeannette Wing proposed Computational Thinking (CT) as a fundamental skill to everyone (Wing, 2006), CT has become a phenomenon. In addition, it has been verified by program accreditation and employer requirements that undergraduate students in STEM need to develop higher-order thinking and metacognitive skills in problem solving. Thus, in our institution we intended to teach CT to students in Applied Science majors and support them to master the CT skill. While developing a CT course, we noticed that there was little agreement on what and how to teach CT. In this paper, we examine the CT course and provide a review that addresses two questions: 1) What to teach CT and 2) how to teach CT effectively. More specifically, we present the course topics covered in the CT course and describe six teaching strategies we utilized to engage students in learning and doing CT. While analyzing the course development reflectively, we become informed to continually improve the course in order to teach CT effectively in future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of International Conference on Computational Thinking Education
StatePublished - 2020
Event4th International Conference on Computational Thinking Education, CTE 2020 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: Aug 19 2020Aug 21 2020


  • Applied Science majors
  • Computational thinking
  • Course development
  • Problem solving
  • Student-centered learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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