Freeman, Jason

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Promoting Intentions to Persist in Computing: An Examination of Six Years of the EarSketch Program

2020-01-21 , Wanzer, Dana Linnell , McKlin, Thomas (Tom) , Freeman, Jason , Magerko, Brian , Lee, Taneisha

Background and Context: EarSketch was developed as a program to foster persistence in computer science with diverse student populations. Objective: To test the effectiveness of EarSketch in promoting intentions to persist, particularly among female students and under-represented minority students. Method: Meta-analyses, structural equation modeling, multi-level modeling, and qualitative analyses were performed to examine how participation in EarSketch and other factors affect students’ intentions to persist in computing. Findings: Students significantly increased their intentions to persist in computing, g=.40[.25,54], but examination within just the five quasi-experimental studies did not result in a significant difference for students in EarSketch compared to students not in EarSketch, g=.08[-.07, .23]. Student attitudes towards computing and the perceived authenticity of the EarSketch environment significantly predicted intentions to persist in computing. Implications: Participation in computer science education can increase students’ intentions to persist in programming, and EarSketch is one such program that can aid in these intentions.

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An interactive, graphical coding environment for EarSketch online using Blockly and Web Audio API

2016-04 , Mahadevan, Anand , Freeman, Jason , Magerko, Brian

This paper presents an interactive graphical programming environment for EarSketch, using Blockly and Web Audio API. This visual programming element sidesteps syntac- tical challenges common to learning text-based languages, thereby targeting a wider range of users in both informal and academic settings. The implementation allows seamless integration with the existing EarSketch web environment, saving block-based code to the cloud as well as exporting it to Python and JavaScript.