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Study of Coding and Debugging Skills by Preschoolers


Principal Investigators: Sudha Swaminathan, Jenna Mazza (undergraduate student)

The primary goal of this study is to observe, document and analyze children’s abilities to code robotic toys as well as to problem solve and debug errors in their codes. Specifically, this study will address the following objectives:

  1. What types of strategies do the children employ to gather knowledge about the symbols located on the toys, and how will they use this information to predict the toys’ movements?
  2. How do the children use their gathered knowledge to get the toys to move from point A to point B?  What types of conversations do the children have with one another? What strategies do they discuss?
  3. What do children do if their initial coding does not work? How do the children problem solve and debug?
  4. How can teachers scaffold the children’s coding?
Read a June 2022 Education Week news article about pilot study findings. Read a Tech & Learning post from November 2022 about the study.

See more previous studies

Watch a presentation on the findings