An Assessment of the Challenges Affecting Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Algorithmic Thinking: The Case of Senior 3 Students in a Rwandan School
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.
Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) was issued with copyright registration Certificate No. Rw-C10000866 by the Office of the Registrar General in accordance to the Rwandan IPR Law No. 31/2009.
N.B.: KIE is now a College of Education, constituent of the University of Rwanda in accordance to the Rwandan Law No. 71/2013 of 10/09/2013 establishing the University of Rwanda (UR), and the College of Education as shown on its website: http://www.ce.ur.ac.rw/