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Physical Context: The Role of Tinkering in End-User Programmer Success

October 1, 2018 | Media and Technology, Public Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks

Participants in this study reported a variety of resources used in the past to learn to code in Apex, including online tutorials, one-day classes sponsored by Salesforce, and meet-up groups focused on learning. They reported various difficulties in learning through these resources, including what they viewed as the gendered nature of classes where the men already seemed to know how to code—which set a fast pace for the class, difficulty in knowing “where to start” in their learning, and a lack of time to practice learning due to work and family responsibilities. The Coaching and Learning Group physical context encouraged learning and persistence by: curating learning resources so that they were targeted at the correct level for the novice learners, coaches giving real-world examples of how what was learned would be useful on the job, and creating a structured atmosphere similar to school though “homework” assignments that were visible to others when completed.

The physical context is illustrated in the document below, which describes the role of “tinkering” in participants’ learning.


  • Lyon LouiseAnn
    Principal Investigator
  • Citation


    Funding Program: AISL
    Award Number: 1612527
    Resource Type: Reference Materials
    Discipline: Computing and information science
    Audience: Adults | Museum/ISE Professionals | Learning Researchers
    Environment Type: Media and Technology | Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media | Public Programs | Making and Tinkering Programs | Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks | Professional Development and Workshops
    Access and Inclusion: Women and Girls

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