An Assessment of the Challenges Affecting Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Algorithmic Thinking: The Case of Senior 3 Students in a Rwandan School

  • Ayumi Oka
  • Jean Pierre Nsengimana
  • Jean François Maniraho
  • Takuya Baba


This article reports the current state of Senior 3 students’ algorithmic thinking (hereafter, “AT”) in Kigali, Rwanda. AT is one of the important abilities in  computer science education (hereafter, “CSE”), and has great significance for ICT nation toward the Vision 2050. In Rwanda, the programming in CSE has  been made compulsory; however, there has been no research on definition of AT skills and on the status of Rwandan students. AT skills require  structurization of repeated events (i.e., iteration) toward efficiency. As the case study, 44 students were chosen by convenient sampling and assessed by  an unplugged assessment. Then, four of them were interviewed to grasp their understanding more conceptually. Resultantly the majority had basic AT  skills. Interestingly, some students were able to grasp repetitive phenomena within the iteration but were not able to represent it using iterative  structure. We propose the necessity of teaching how to construct iteration in CSE.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2312-9239