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Block-Based Versus Text-Based Programming Environments on Novice Student Learning: A Meta-Analysis Study

Sat, April 6, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Floor: 800 Level, Room 802B


The use of block-based programming environments is purported to be a good way to gently introduce computer programming to novice learners. This study examined the overall effect of block-based versus text-based programming environments on cognitive and affective student learning outcomes. Five academic databases were searched to identify literature meeting our inclusion criteria and resulted in 13 publications with 52 effect size comparisons on both cognitive and affective student learning outcomes. We found both effect size calculations were statistically insignificant using random effects models with a small effect size in favor of block-based programming environments on cognitive student learning outcomes, and a trivial effect size on affective student learning outcomes. Discussion of the findings and implications for further research are provided.