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Sample Interview Protocol

This is a sample interview protocol for the study on how students learn computational thinking in a collaborative classroom setting.

[Take consent form to audio record the session, explain that participants will remain anonymous.]

Introduction: I am interested in understanding how people learn computational concepts. For our time together, I'd like to discuss how you learn, specifically in the CS 2984 - Introduction to Computational Thinking class. If at any time you feel uncomfortable with a question or where our discussion is going, just let me know. We can stop at any time. Do you have any questions before we get started?

1.       Can you tell me a little bit about your academic background?

         What is your major? Are you a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior?

         What courses are you taking now?

         Why are you taking these computational courses?


2.       I am interested in understanding what students have learned in this class (consider as computational thinking).

         What have you learned in this class?

         How do you see yourself applying what you have learned in this class in your own discipline?

         Do you see what you have learned in this class useful for you in the long run?


This class claims to teach computational thinking,

         In your own words, how would you describe computational thinking /what is your understanding of computational thinking?


3.       Have you taken any other computer related course?

         How is this course different/similar than other computer related courses you have taken?


4.       Are there things about the class that were helpful?

         Are there things about the class that you wish were different?


5.       Can you describe to me what a typical group session looked like with your student cohort in the computational thinking class?


         Have you studied in student cohorts/groups before?

o   If so, how is this group experience similar/different than others you have been in?

         In what ways have the group interactions impacted your learning of CT?

4: During cohort observation we have used the following checklist to describe cohort interactions in the computational thinking class. [Give checklist to student and wait for 5 minutes for them to read it.]

         Would you please rank top 5 of the following that was most beneficial for your learning of CT concepts?

         Would you please describe particular incidents of such interactions?

         Was most of your interactions within class period or did you also interact outside of class?



5: Based on that topic, is there anything that you would like to add that I did not cover in my questions?


[Thank the participant.]