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Comunicar Journal 68: Networks, social movements and their myths in a hyperconnected world (Vol. 29 - 2021)

Drivers for the development of computational thinking in Costa Rican students


Karol Picado-Arce

Stefani Matarrita-Muñoz

Olmer Núñez-Sosa

Magaly Zúñiga-Céspedes


This study provides evidence about factors that facilitate the development of computational thinking (CT) in Costa Rican elementary school students, including the description of the contribution of the LIE++ proposal that addresses CT knowledge and practices through programming and physical computing projects. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare a group of students from the LIE++ educational proposal with a group of students from another proposal called LIE-Guides, which emphasizes learning with digital technologies. The study sample comprised 14,795 voluntary students, who answered an online test that was constructed and validated to estimate the scores achieved in CT. The results showed that the students participating in the LIE++ proposal obtained better scores compared to the LIE-Guides group. A multilevel regression model demonstrated that students’ personal and social variables, as well as the proposal’s execution scheme, positively affected student learning in CT. This research is a first approach to the subject in this context. It refers to the importance of providing educational opportunities that focus on more advanced computing knowledge and skills, as well as the relevance of continuing to develop tools and methodologies that help generate evidence about CT in education in order to improve educational interventions.


Learning, computational thinking, assessment, elementary education, informatics, programming

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