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Using Understanding by Design Model to Develop a School Course for Learning the Basics of Python Programming

Student: Kirill Fedorov

Supervisor: Elena Chernobay

Faculty: Institute of Education

Educational Programme: Pedagogy (Master)

Final Grade: 9

Year of Graduation: 2021

Development of the course "Python: The Basics of Programming" and its components according to the "Understanding by Design" model will allow students to achieve the maximum possible results due to the fact that the set goals and described educational results of the course are decomposed into separate stages within the entire course and each lesson. Thus, the completion of each task is aimed at achieving a pre-planned result, written in the overall context of the course goals. The course as a whole, each module of the course and each lesson of each module is designed "from the result", which will allow students to effectively use their knowledge in practice after completing the course, not only in computer science lessons, but also in everyday life. Students will learn how to create programs in Python to solve typical basic-level problems from various subject areas using cycles, branches, subroutines, and standard containers such as lists and strings. In addition to subject knowledge, skills and abilities, passing the course in the 8th or 9th grade will become one of the vectors of professional orientation of students. The students will be able to understand how much they are interested in the field of programming. Thanks to the timely identification of talented students in the field of algorithmization and programming, teachers will be able to build individual educational routes for them, which will allow talented and motivated students to achieve success in the field of programming already in school years: to become a winner or a prize-winner of the Olympiad or to create an industrial project and present it at one of the conferences. Separately, it is worth noting that this course will be interesting and useful even for children from non-core classes who do not plan to connect their lives with programming. The interactivity of the course, the use of an online platform for testing programming tasks, and a huge number of simple tasks will be key factors in forming a positive attitude of students to the subject of "computer science". The developed block of lessons is integrated into the educational platform and online course builder Stepik and is available for everyone to follow the link: https://stepik.org/course/84702 Thus, the developed materials can be used by any computer science teacher when conducting lessons in any school in the Russian Federation or in a foreign school for students who are fluent in Russian. At the time of writing, the number of registered users on the course exceeds 1100. The developed block of lessons was successfully tested in one of the Moscow schools. The developed materials were used to organize the educational process in the 8th and 9th general education classes. The testing was attended by 4 computer science teachers and 24 classes (approximately 600 students). This course has an excellent potential for development and can be organically continued by a similar course, built on the principle of the didactic spiral, to form skills for solving more complex programming problems and preparing students for the Unified State Exam and for computer science Olympiads.

Full text (added June 1, 2021)

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