Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 4-13-2020


Hoppe, Dana. 2020. Engagement and Computational Thinking through Creative Coding. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Dana Hoppe 2020.


Rising enrollments in Computer Science pose an opportunity to engage students from diverse backgrounds and interests; and a challenge to deliver on positive learning outcomes. While student engagement is the driving factor for increased learning performance and retention, it has been declining to new lows for Computer Science students in recent years. In order to further explore the potential of contextualized computing as a tool for increasing engagement in computing and developing Computational Thinking aptitude in students, we have developed an introductory computing course contextualized with Art and Design with modules centered around guiding pedagogical principles and aimed at middle school and high school students. This Creative Coding course utilizes a principle and theory-based approach in its design in order to meet the pedagogical goals of this project. Additionally, we have developed data collection tools for analyzing the effectiveness of the course in increasing student engagement and Computational Thinking aptitude. Results coming from limited implementation at two sites suggests that with future implementation, data collection, and material refinement, Creative Coding can serve as a flexible tool for increasing student engagement and as a basis for further research into contextualized computing.