Category:Computational Thinking Patterns
A computational thinking pattern describes object actions or interactions that are common to a large set of applications including game design and computational science. The computational thinking patterns captured here are a growing collection of patterns found to be useful in educating a wide array of users ranging from middle school students building video games to experienced scientists building computer models. In the Scalable Game Design curriculum these basic computational thinking patterns are used to make basic 1980 arcade style game such as Frogger and Pacman.
We conceptualize the learning of computational thinking as a spiral approach starting with basic computational thinking patterns, starting with game design for motivational reasons and then continuing on to simulations. This is very much in the spirit of teachers asking "now that you can build Space Invaders, can you build a computational science model of a mud slide?" We believe that if we cannot stimulate this kind of transfer then there may not be much, if any, computational thinking going on. Gradually, students move on to more sophisticated computational thinking patterns such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which can be used in game design to build sophisticated artificial intelligent agents used in games such as The Sims. Our research explores how this kind of transfer can be established - because we know it will not just happen automatically - and how we can evaluate it.