A racket-based robot to teach first-year computer science

Androutsopoulos, Kelly and Gorogiannis, Nikos and Loomes, Martin J. and Margolis, M. and Primiero, Giuseppe and Raimondi, Franco and Varsani, Puji and Weldin, N. and Zivanovic, Aleksandar (2014) A racket-based robot to teach first-year computer science. In: 7 th European Lisp Symposium, May 5 – 6 2014, IRCAM, Paris, France.

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Abstract

A novel approach to teaching Computer Science has been developed for the academic year 2013/14 at Middlesex University,
UK. The whole first year is taught in an holistic fashion, with programming at the core, using a number of practical projects to support learning and inspire the students. The Lisp derivative, Racket, has been chosen as the main programming language for the year. An important feature of the approach is the use of physical computing so that the students are not always working “through the screen”, but can experience physical manifestations of behaviours resulting from programs. In this paper we describe the MIddlesex Robotic plaTfOrm (MIRTO), an open-source platform built using Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and with Racket as the core coordination mechanism. We describe the architecture of the platform and how it can be used to support teaching of core Computer Science topics, we describe our teaching and assessment strategies, we present students’ projects and we provide a preliminary evaluation of our approach.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > Business School
A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence group
A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science > Foundations of Computing group
A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science > Intelligent Environments group
A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science > SensoLab group
A. > School of Science and Technology > Design Engineering and Mathematics
Item ID: 14027
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Martin Loomes
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 12:51
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:32
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/14027

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