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  • 1.
    Fuentes Martinez, Ana
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.
    Gender and prior knowledge factors in pupils’ beliefs about programming in mathematics2019In: ICERI2019 Proceedings / [ed] L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres, The International Academy of Technology, Education and Development, 2019, p. 5703-5703Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The recent introduction of computer programming in all Swedish school curricula is a significant addition that came along together with several revisions aiming at enhancing pupils’ ICT skills. One of the reasons behind this implementation model was to accelerate the rate at which substantial results would be noticeable. It was also expected that teaching algorithmic thinking from early years would help to reduce the gender gap that has largely been observed in technology and engineering programs in higher education. In this study we wanted to explore students’ beliefs and performance in programming in relation to gender and previous experience. This paper reports on data obtained from first year high school students whose teachers actively attempted to incorporate programming into their mathematics lessons over the course of a school semester during the first year after the reform. We address three questions: a) Is there a difference in in attitudes or beliefs toward programming between students that had programming experience and those who had not? b) Is there a difference in attitudes or beliefs toward programming between male and female students? and c) Is there a difference in code understanding between male and female students? The third question is further analyzed to test the confidence gap hypothesis, which holds that women feel less confident than men in their own abilities. Five student groups from schools across Sweden were selected for the survey among those whose teachers were actively using programming in mathematics. A cross-sectional study was designed addressing the research questions based on data gathered from a group administered questionnaire (N=138). In order to assess students’ understanding of code, three programming exercises in increasing level of difficulty, concluded the survey. Alongside each programming exercise, the respondent had the possibility to express how confident he or she felt about the given answer. For the purposes of data comparison, the chi-squared test of independence was used. The analysis of the data indicates that there are relevant gender differences in students’ views and attitudes towards programming but not in their actual performance when answering code questions. In this case, differences could be attributed to previous programming experience which also seems to influence students’ anxiety toward the reform. However, previous programming instruction did not seem to influence pupil’s beliefs about how useful they thought programming will be in their upcoming education or professional life. Female students were on average less positive regarding how useful they think programming might be for them in the future. We could also confirm the tendency for women to underestimate their programming achievements. Most relevant, female students were more likely to state that they were unsure when the answer was right, whereas male students often felt sure about their wrong answers.

  • 2.
    Fuentes Martinez, Ana
    et al.
    Malmö högskola.
    Andersson, Jens
    Johansson, Anders
    Nilsson, Pål
    Gender and Programming: A Case Study2005In: Proceedings 2005: 3:e Pedagogiska inspirationskonferensen 31 maj 2005, Lund, Sweden, 2005, article id 3c9e8a1b-e904-4091-91d3-a5512d3a65fdConference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Our study highlights the effects of gender-related learning styles on a computer programming course at introductory level of engineering education. It was triggered by the observation of statistically relevant under-achievements among female students over the years. We try to identify concrete differences in motivation/learning styles between genders and prove that lack of previous relevant computer experience is not the only factor to blame. The paper analyzes the situation at a LTH course from the point of view of the conflicts outlined in the literature. Data from “before-starting” questionnaires and follow ups for subsequent evaluations expose significant gender differences. Analysis of the course materials and interviews with students reveals problems of constructive alignment and discouragements to the motivation of novice programmers. We investigated several pedagogical methods to adapt teaching and evaluation in order to increase all students’ competence and at the same time reduce the gap between genders. Our key recommendation is to make the separation between the teaching of algorithms and the teaching of the specific language syntax clearer. It is our belief that good teaching of engineering subjects will enhance learning for all students

  • 3.
    Fuentes Martinez, Ana
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.
    Ekström, Sara
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.
    Kritiska föreställningar och reflektioner om robotar och artificiell intelligens i svensk skola: när lärarnas programmeringskunskaper spelar roll2019In: VILÄR 5-6 december 2019, University West, Trollhättan: Abstracts / [ed] Kristina Johansson, Trollhättan: University West , 2019, p. 9-10Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Robotar och artificiell intelligens (AI) är redan en del av verkligheten och kan komma att göra intåg i skolan inom en snar framtid. I en studie av Hrastinski et al (2019) belyses lärares och forskares kritiska reflektioner om vad användningen av robotar och AI kan innebära för en utbildningskontext. Studien konstaterar ett ökat behov av kompetensutveckling, men påvisar också en viss oro över en förändrad lärarroll, mänskliga relationer, individualisering, pedagogisk ledning och etik. Både lärare och forskare visade upp en begränsad förståelse för skillnaderna mellan de två teknologierna. Dessutom framkom det i studien att det finns en skillnad mellan deltagarnas tankar om införandet av robotar och AI; lärarnas resonemang handlade om möjligheter att förbättra den nuvarande undervisningspraktiken medan forskarna såg en potential till att transformera undervisningen.

    I Sverige har läroplanen nyligen reviderats med följden att alla elever, från förskolan till gymnasiet, ska lära sig datalogiskt tänkande och programmering. Förändringen innebär ökade fortbildningskrav på lärarna, vilket har medfört att många svenska universitet erbjuder programmeringskurser för verksamma lärare. För att studera hur de ökade programmeringskunskaperna påverkar lärarnas syn på användningen av robotar och AI i undervisningen ombads sjutton universitetslärare, med ansvar för programmeringskurserna, att i en enkät reflektera över hur dessa teknologier kan forma framtidens undervisningspraktik. För att kunna jämföra med Hrastinskis tidigare studie, fick universitetslärarna föreställa sig en undervisningssituation där (a) sociala robotar och (b) robotar med artificiell intelligens var en realitet. De reflekterade över vilka utmaningar och möjligheter användningen av robotar och AI skulle kunna medföra i ett framtida klassrum. Hur skiljer sig universitetslärarnas reflektioner från resultatet i den tidigare studien?

    Analysen visade att universitetslärarna resonerade kring potentiella vinster med att individualisera undervisning och befria lärare från rutinuppgifter. Deras framtidssyn låg också närmare lärarnas än forskarnas i Hrastinskis studie, då de inte heller förutspådde någon betydande transformation av den nuvarande undervisningspraktiken. Resultatet indikerade att universitetslärarna generellt sett hade mer kunskap om robotar och AI än deltagarna i den tidigare studien. Trots det var de skeptiska till de kognitiva fördelarna med att använda en fysisk robot istället för en traditionell dator. Utifrån framtidsscenariot med programmeringskunniga lärare i klassrummen, föreslog universitetslärarna inte någon ytterligare kompetensutveckling, vilket står i kontrast till reflektionerna i Hrastinskis studie. Om universitetslärare tror att programmeringskunskaper kan överbrygga kompetensgapet, och de inte förväntar sig någon radikal förändring av undervisningspraktiken, då kanske tröskeln för att integrera robotar och AI i undervisning är lägre än vad den tidigare studien förutsåg.

  • 4.
    Fuentes Martinez, Ana
    et al.
    Lunds universitet, Lund, Sverige.
    Kuchcinski, Krzysztof
    Lunds universitet, Lund, Sverige.
    Multifrequency Test and Diagnosis of Analog Circuits Using Constraint Programming and Interval Arithmetic2003Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Analog circuits are often specified using non-linear equations, which are difficult to analyze. Therefore, test generation and diagnosis are problematic issues in practice. In this paper we propose a new method for diagnosis of analog circuits that uses combined information from tests at different frequencies. By solving simultaneously the resulting equations (one for each test frequency), we get a reliable method that decreases the number of possible answers to the diagnosis problem. The min-max optimization algorithm that we implemented for non-linear transfer functions gives good average runtime for diagnosis parametric faults.

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