Toward More Generalizable CS and CT Instruments

Arif Rachmatullah, Jessica Vandenberg, Eric Wiebe
2022 Proceedings of the 27th ACM Conference on on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Vol. 1  
The lack of gender diversity in the computer science (CS) field and workforce is a well-documented challenge that many, but not all, countries face. Such a challenge may tie to socio-cultural issues that have impacted K-12 CS education, eventually creating a gender gap in CS performance and attitudes. The current study compared American and Indonesian middle school students' computational thinking (CT) skills and CS attitudes. Concurrently, this study also examined whether the items in the
more » ... uments we used exhibit country, gender, or prior CS experience measurement biases. A total of 592 American (n = 242) and Indonesian (n = 350) middle school students took a CT assessment and CS attitudes scale. Differential item functioning (DIF) was used to detect biased items, and a twoway ANOVA was utilized to examine the interaction effects of country and gender in the two constructs. The results showed some items were flagged as having country-specific DIF. The results also indicated that the American students had higher CT scores than Indonesian students. However, Indonesian students obtained higher CS attitudes scores compared to American students. Further results showed a significant gender difference in CS attitudes in the American samples; however, such a significant difference was not found in the Indonesian sample. These findings underscore the importance of a country's socio-cultural context in influencing gender diversity in the CS field. CCS CONCEPTS • Social and professional topics → Gender; Cultural characteristics; Computational thinking; K-12 education.
doi:10.1145/3502718.3524790 fatcat:63kcwgaqtbbpxdnpt6722whsqy