The Effectiveness of Using Lego Mindstorms Robotics Activities to Influence Self-regulated Learning in a University Introductory Computer Programming Course.
Description: The research described in this dissertation examines the possible link between self-regulated learning and LEGO Mindstorms robotics activities in teaching concepts in an introductory university computer programming course. The areas of student motivation, learning strategies, and mastery of course objectives are investigated. In all three cases analysis failed to reveal any statistically significant differences between the traditional control group and the experimental LEGO Mindstorms group as measured by the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire and course exams. Possible reasons for the lack of positive results include technical problems and limitations of the LEGO Mindstorms systems, limited number and availability of robots outside of class, limited amount of time during the semester for the robotics activities, and a possible difference in effectiveness based on gender. Responses to student follow-up questions, however, suggest that at least some of the students really enjoyed the LEGO activities. As with any teaching tool or activity, there are numerous ways in which LEGO Mindstorms can be incorporated into learning. This study explores whether or not LEGO Mindstorms are an effective tool for teaching introductory computer programming at the university level and how these systems can best be utilized.
Date: May 2008
Creator: McWhorter, William Isaac