The Computational Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) Capability Flow: An Approach to Articulating CAT Capabilities over Time in African-American Middle-school Girls

Computational algorithmic thinking (CAT) is the ability to design, implement, and assess the implementation of algorithms to solve a range of problems. It involves identifying and understanding a problem, articulating an algorithm or set of algorithms in the form of a solution to the problem, implementing that solution in such a way that the solution solves the problem, and evaluating the solution based on some set of criteria. Supporting Computational Algorithmic Thinking (SCAT) is both a longitudinal between-subjects exploratory research project and a free enrichment program supporting and guiding African-American middle school girls over three years as they iteratively design a set of games for social change. This paper explores the CAT Capability Flow, which begins to describe the processes and sub-skills and capabilities involve in CAT. To do this, we engage in an approach which results in an initial flowchart that depicts the processes students are engaging in as an iteratively-refined articulation of the steps involved in computational algorithmic thinking.

Paper from the 49th ACM Technical Symposium.