Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 3-19-2020


Michael G. Mason. 2020. Communicating Computing Limitations Through Kinesthetic Pedagogy. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Michael Mason 2020.


Abstract concepts, such as those in advanced Computer Science and Mathematics, can be extremely difficult to understand fundamentally without an existing background in a similar subject. Recent research has shown that raw visualizations without learner interaction are not particularly effective at communicating complex information because they allow the learner to ignore the example (Lauer 2006, Naps 2002). Forcing somebody to interact with an example ensures that they can grasp the visualization. This paper describes a six step technique to demonstrate the limitations of computing through kinesthetic pedagogy, then offers an example exercise utilizing the method. The six proposed steps are: define the problem, identify the core computation needed, model this problem and its core computation to something which is easy to interact with, have the audience interact with the model, elicit a concession of difficulty, and finally return model to the problem. This process clearly connects abstract concepts to a physical interpretation, and provides an intuitive avenue for learning. Although further testing is required to determine the process's effectiveness, previous research has shown that similar pedagogical techniques have dramatically increased learning (Sivilotti and Pike 2007, Goldsmith and Mihail 2016).