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Due to the increasing need for IT competencies, university humanities programs have started introducing courses to strengthen students' understanding of informatics. This paper studies how students in a master's program in IT at a humanities faculty developed skills in programming and computational thinking. All students had a compulsory course in Programming and Prototyping, and some of the students had electives in Computational Thinking. Data consisted of observations from the courses, assessment of students' assignments, and four focus group interviews (two groups - one with Com-putational Thinking and the other with Programming and Prototyping only). We held interviews before and after the courses for both groups to uncover how the students' views changed. Both groups of students saw themselves in coordinating roles where they would collaborate with programmers and other software developers. The students who took the electives in computational thinking showed a richer vocabulary when describing computational concepts, practices, and perspectives. The ability to reflect on the practical tasks, including concepts, practices, and perspectives, seems essential for students' future careers, as humanity students working with technology. The results show how students can develop their understanding of computational thinking through scaffolding for computational empowerment. In the process, we saw how students achieved a computational understanding through working with concepts and practices and where perspectives emerged from combining the computational understanding with information and practices from other disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9183
JournalActa Didactica Norden
Issue number4
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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  • computational thinking
  • higher education
  • humanities
  • programming


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