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The Effect of Programming Classes with Tangible Scratch Blocks on the Programming Interest of 6th Grade Elementary School Students

Seok-Ju Chun, Yunju Jo, and Seungmee Lee

Abstract—In this paper, we introduce an original, classroom-based approach for teaching Scratch programming to 6th grade elementary school students. Scratch is a programming language that involves assembling icon-based command blocks. It was designed to avoid the complex syntax errors seen in other programming languages, making it especially accessible for younger learners. While Scratch does provide a visual programming environment in which potentially just about anyone can learn to read and write programming code, there can still be a reduced overall interest in learning programming, because younger learners in particular can find it difficult to intuitively understand or be stimulated by abstract concepts of programming such as sequences, conditions, and repetition, which are present in Scratch. Our research involves the development of a tangible, electronic block system that allows students to manipulate physical objects with their hands to perform programming tasks. The system consists of a Scratch simulator and physical, Scratch electronic blocks embodying Scratch user interface shapes. We devised and delivered a programming course to 6th grade Korean elementary school students using our block system. The results are encouraging.

Index Terms—Scratch programming, tangible block programming, electronic block system, programming education, elementary school students’ programming class.

Seok-Ju Chun is with Seoul National University of Education, Republic of Korea (e-mail: chunsj@snue.ac.kr).
Yunju Jo is with Sin-Mook Elementary School, Republic of Korea (e-mail: yunju0514@gmail.com).
Seungmee Lee is with Guui Elementary School, Republic of Korea (e-mail: me1226@sen.go.kr).


Copyright © 2021 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (Since 2019), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), EBSCO, Electronic Journals Library, Google Scholar, Crossref, etc.
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net

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