PPIG 2017 - 28th Annual Workshop
Tica: An environment for exploring tangible vs. screen-based programming
John Wilkie, Judith Good
Abstract: This paper describes Tica, an environment designed to explore the differences between tangible and screen based interfaces when teaching programming to children aged 5–7 years. Tica comprises several components: a tangible programming language and a screen based equivalent, an Android app to interpret the programming languages and record data, and a physical robot that can be programmed using either the tangible or screen-based language. Tica was designed using a learner-centred approach, with a specific focus on the needs and abilities of the target user group.
Once implemented, an initial pilot study was carried out with 14 adults. Although participants using the screen-based interface completed problems more quickly than those using the tangible interface, participants using the tangible interface reported a higher level of enjoyment. Next steps include a more extensive study with the target population as well as some refinements to the Tica environment.