8th International Conference on Robotics in Education (RiE), Sofija, Bulgaria, 26 - 28 April 2017, vol.630, pp.88-99
Programming is a popular subject in education and experts emphasize the importance of teaching programming to the children in the high school or even earlier. In this study, we used robots for teaching programming basics to the high school and college students and observed the effects of different interfaces. We used an educational robot called Thymio-II with Aseba Event Script Language (AESL), which is designed specifically for the Thymio. In this work, our hypothesis is that visual programming interfaces are more successful on learning programming and facilitate the learning with other interfaces and languages. In order to teach programming, as well as the interfaces and the robot features, we created a curriculum applicable to all interfaces. We taught students ages ranging from 15 to 24 using lecture content prepared in the form of video recordings. Students were given 30 min of lectures and at the end of each lecture students were expected to write a program according to predefined requirements. Students were divided to groups using different interfaces and we observed the difference of the learning curves of students for each programming interface. In our tests, we used original English AESL, Turkish version of AESL and a graphical interface called Visual Programming Language (VPL). We compared the performance of the students using the graphical icon based against the classical text based programming languages.