PPIG 2016 - 27th Annual Workshop
TALES: An E-Learning Application to teach programming concepts to the Early Years Foundation Stage
Melenie Schatynski, Sharon Wood
Abstract: As a pupil concludes Key Stage 1 they will have been taught to understand basic algorithms, typically in a recipe style, create and debug simple programs and understand why their programs behave the way they do, in addition, gaining knowledge of common technologies. Introducing these concepts to children in their pre-school education will prepare them for the new changes to the curriculum. This study describes the development of an educational system called TALES which is designed to teach programming concepts through a series of mini games. It is aimed at children at the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), specifically children with a cognitive ability between three and six years of age, and therefore does not assume the user to be a fluent reader or writer. The application is evaluated through a small user evaluation study. Early results indicate that learners engage enthusiastically with the games, taking more time to follow instructions and greater care as they become increasingly motivated to succeed in advancing through progressively more challenging levels of the game.