In the summer of 2013, the Mobile CSP team, along with help from two of our Mobile CSP Massachusetts teachers, developed curriculum materials for the Mobile CSP course. The materials are split into two categories: App Inventor and CSP. The App Inventor lessons are based on App Inventor 2, which is scheduled for release in December 2013 and all are viewable online via Google docs. The lessons follow a basic format:
Introduction to the app with a screenshot
Applicable CSP Big Ideas and Learning Objectives
How to get ready and set up to complete the tutorial
A step-by-step tutorial on how to create the app, including explanations of new concepts
Student reflection questions
A formative assessment, typically in the form of interactive exercises
A link to any follow-up enhancements or mini projects
Mini projects are follow-up activities where the students complete programming tasks, or challenges, that allow them to further their understanding of the concepts that were introduced in the lesson. The App Inventor lessons and follow-up programming tasks are
one of the ways that the Mobile CSP curriculum addresses the CSP Big Idea of Creativity. That is, the students complete a walkthrough of the tutorial with their instructor or follow step-by-step instructions to create a new artifact. At this stage the students are being introduced to and engaging with new concepts. But true creative learning -- constructivist learning -- occurs as students develop their own creative solutions to the mini projects. The apps that students build to solve these programming problems helps them construct the mental models needed to develop a true understanding of computer science principles.
The non-App Inventor lessons, also referred to as CSP lessons, are based on lesson plans that provide estimated times for covering the material, suggested activities to do with the students, and links to outside resources, such as videos and other activities. Like the App Inventor lessons, these lessons are also designed to get students engaged in constructivist activities, in this case, activities designed to help students learn about non-programming topics or further a discussion about a programming topic that is introduced in an App Inventor lesson. After each lesson, as with the App Inventor lessons, students are asked to complete a reflection in their Google portfolio and to complete a formative assessment (the interactive exercises).
Since the summer, the Mobile CSP curriculum has been undergone further development and refinement. The Mobile CSP course currently consists of nine instructional units and five performance tasks, which are aligned with the College Board CSP performance tasks (http://bit.ly/1i05HJO). All of these materials are available on our Wiki (https://sites.google.com/site/mobilecsp/lesson-plans). Each of the performance tasks is considered a summative assessment. The performance tasks include three collaborative creative programming projects, one collaborative data project, and one individual writing project. These projects are graded using rubrics that were put together by our Evaluation Consultant. Other summative assessments for the course include a midterm that is completed after the first creative project and a final that is completed at the end of the course. All of these materials will be used to assess the efficacy of the MobileCSP curriculum.