Testudinata: A Tangible Interface for Exploring Functional Programming

Mongkhonvanit, K., Zau, C. J. Y., Proctor, C., & Blikstein, P. (2018). Testudinata: a tangible interface for exploring functional programming. Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children (pp. 493–496). New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/3202185.3210762

Learning to program is difficult for most children. Most ofthe interfaces designed to help children experience andunderstand programming are based on imperative programming. However, early exposure to functional programming have been found to have many benefits overimperative programming. We describe a tangible interface, Testudinata, that helps to make a fundamental concept of functional programming – function composition – more approachable to younger learners in elementary and middle school. Using Testudinata, learners can design, implement, and test various compositions ofpre-made functions on a tangible user interface (TUI),while observing and comparing results on a graphical user interface (GUI). Through the combination of a TUI and GUI, the learners will be able to gain basic understanding of of function composition in a fun and engaging way.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{mongkhonvanit_2018_testudinata,
    author = "Mongkhonvanit, Kritphong and Zau, Claire Jia Yi and Proctor, Chris and Blikstein, Paulo",
    title = "Testudinata: A Tangible Interface for Exploring Functional Programming",
    abstract = "Learning to program is difficult for most children. Most ofthe interfaces designed to help children experience andunderstand programming are based on imperative programming. However, early exposure to functional programming have been found to have many benefits overimperative programming. We describe a tangible interface, Testudinata, that helps to make a fundamental concept of functional programming – function composition – more approachable to younger learners in elementary and middle school. Using Testudinata, learners can design, implement, and test various compositions ofpre-made functions on a tangible user interface (TUI),while observing and comparing results on a graphical user interface (GUI). Through the combination of a TUI and GUI, the learners will be able to gain basic understanding of of function composition in a fun and engaging way.",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children",
    series = "IDC '18",
    year = "2018",
    isbn = "978-1-4503-5152-2",
    location = "Trondheim, Norway",
    pages = "493--496",
    numpages = "4",
    url = "http://chrisproctor.net/publications/mongkhonvanit\_2018\_testudinata",
    doi = "10.1145/3202185.3210762",
    acmid = "3210762",
    publisher = "ACM",
    address = "New York, NY, USA",
    keywords = "computer science education, functional programming, tangible user interface",
    pdf = "http://chrisproctor.net/media/publications/mongkhonvanit\_2018\_testudinata.pdf"
}

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