Smart Homes Programming: Development and Evaluation of an Educational Programming Application for Young Learners

Mazyar Seraj; Cornelia Große; Serge Autexier; Rolf Drechsler

In: Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Interaction Design and Children. ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC-2019), June 12-15, Boise, Idaho, USA, 2019.


In light of the complexity of introductory programming foryoung learners, visual programming has become more andmore popular. In particular, block-based educational pro-gramming systems have emerged as an area of active re-search. This paper introduces an educational block-basedprogramming application, enabling young learners to learnand make programs in the context of smart homes. In thisapplication, smart objects have a set of primitive behaviorswhich can be integrated in the general features of program-ming languages like variables, conditionals, loops, and func-tions. The programming language is shown in a graphicalinterface to enable young students to program with the ap-plication. The development and implementation of this ap-plication, along with helping features for the students aredescribed. In a pilot study with 20 7t hgrade students, theapplication’s effectiveness and ease of use are evaluated. Theresults show that students can fairly solve programmingproblems and make real programs in the context of smarthomes. Feedback of the learners is presented and discussed.


Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence