Revisiting Analogical Reasoning in Computing Education: Use of Similarities Between Robot Programming Tasks in Debugging
Analogical reasoning is considered to be a critical cognitive skill in programming. However, it has been rarely studied in a block-based programming context, especially involving both virtual and physical objects. In this multi-case study, we examined how novice programming learners majoring in early childhood education used analogical reasoning while debugging block code to make a robot perform properly. Screen recordings, scaffolding entries, reflections, and block code were analyzed. The cross-case analysis suggested multimodal objects enabled the novice programming learners to identify and use structural relations. The use of a robot eased the verification process by enabling them to test their analogies immediately after the analogy application. Noticing similar functional analogies led to noticing similarities in the relation between block code as well as between block code and the robot, guiding to locate bugs. Implications and directions for future educational computing research are discussed.