Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Effects of Annotations and Homework on Learning Achievement: An Empirical Study of Scratch Programming Pedagogy

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Effects of Annotations and Homework on Learning Achievement: An Empirical Study of Scratch Programming Pedagogy

Article excerpt


Students engage in an especially useful practice by making annotations to learning materials. The positive effects of making and sharing annotations on learning Scratch programming have been presented in the study of Su, Yang, Hwang, Huang and Tern (2014). The use of making annotations has a positive influence on learning achievement and it stimulates students' motivation to learn (Su, Yang, Hwang, & Zhang, 2010). Hsiao and Brusilovsky (2010) thought that annotations could support community feedback in the process of learning Lego. Garner (2009) indicated that Scratch programming is akin to Lego, which is ideal for primary school students.

We developed an annotation-based Scratch programming system, ASP, which allowed students to highlight important points and key concepts. Furthermore, it supports the storage of making, sharing, and reviewing annotations, so students can subsequently find their previous ideas and thoughts. The mechanism provides opportunities for students to critically recall past memories and to think about how to use them. Making and sharing annotations can expand students' ideas and thoughts, which may lead to better solutions to solving problems. However, students face various problems in learning Scratch, and invariably students try to find particular ways to solve homework problems. To learn problem-solving-based learning methods is a study in learning itself. The incorporation of ASP, within the context of problem-solving-based teaching, enables students to become aware of and to determine their problem-solving skills and Scratch learning needs (Su, Yang, Hwang, Huang, & Tern, 2014). The innovative approach also allows students to be able to enhance their learning potential in the area of Scratch programming. All the issues described above have been explored in this paper by conducting an empirical study of the Scratch programming class using ASP tool-supported problem-solving-based teaching approach.

Literature review

Annotation systems supported by Scratch programming pedagogy

The objective of Scratch programming pedagogy is to encourage students to think about their own practical experience. Garner (2009) and believe that Scratch programming should have a "low floor" (easy to get started) and a "high ceiling" (opportunities to create increasingly complex projects over time). Thus, we conducted an empirical study of Scratch programming pedagogy at a Taiwanese elementary school, and students could easily understand the Chinese interface of Scratch programming when first introduced to Logo programming.

A variety of annotation systems have been developed for helping teachers and students to teach and learn digital learning materials. Microsoft has published OneNote that is a personalizable annotation tool. Teachers and students can use a digital pen, a keyboard, or a multimedia recording to input annotations. However, the system annotations can only annotate Microsoft documents and be shared through e-mails. Yang, Chen, and Shao (2004) proposed a personalized annotation management system, and they have demonstrated that personalized annotation enhances knowledge sharing and learning in students' online learning activity. Hwang, Wang, and Sharples (2007) developed a multimedia annotation system that enables students to annotate multimedia objects as well as create multimedia content, such as pictures, audio and video as annotations. Yang, Zhang, Su, and Tsai (2011) proposed a collaborative multimedia annotation system that allows users of audio and video to make and share personal and group annotations that are synchronized with the multimedia. The system permits sharing of personal knowledge and collaboration among learners; annotations can be accessed by other users remotely through the Internet.

Following the previous studies, we found that existing annotation systems do not support the Chinese interface of Scratch programming, and users cannot make, review, and share annotations directly inside the Scratch programming editing environment. …

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