Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 18th ACM conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education



Publisher Name



Visual programming tools and mobile device applications are a natural tool to engage university students; but, are they effective in teaching quantitative thinking skills to non computer science majors? Answering this question can be based on careful assessment of the learning outcomes.

This paper reports the results from teaching over 100 students mobile app development with App Inventor in a university core course. Results were measured using an assessment process motivated by Bloom's Taxonomy that included student self assessment, ratings by instructors, and comparisons of the two results. The categories in the assessment were mapped to specific levels of skills with various App Inventor components.

Results presented here confirm App Inventor's effectiveness and ability to motivate students. App Inventor features and components that most impacted the student learning are noted.

The assessment results show the course was very successful particularly in the three assessment categories of Remembering, Understanding, and Application (Lower Order Thinking Skills) and acceptably successful in Analysis, Evaluating, and Creating (Higher Order Thinking Skills). The paper concludes with suggestions on continued improvement of the course content and additional App Inventor features that should become part of the assessment process.

HonigITiCSE13Presentation.pdf (516 kB)
Presentation Materials