Embracing coding mistakes to teach computational thinking

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In this paper, we argue for a pedagogical approach of embracing "mistakes" as an effective teaching tool for coding. This technique of teaching uses mistakes as a learning tool to teach computational thinking. Instead of simply showing and explaining correct solutions, code with logical errors is presented to the class. After verifying the code does not work, the class as a whole, becomes engaged in trying to correct the logical errors in code presented to the class. In this paper, we reference the Student Query Directed Learning approach which we map into our techniques. We present a transcript of a lecture one of the authors has given using this technique to illustrate motivations, how to steer the conversation where we want it to go, and student/instructor interactions. Finally, we suggest some "ground rules" to ensure this environment is all-encompassing and one which is conducive to learning.

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