How do pupils perceive educational robotics as a tool to improve their 21st century skills?

Lucio Negrini, Christian Giang


In the past years, the use of educational robots has steadily increased, in particular due to the ongoing digitalization of modern societies and the new skills that professions require. It has been argued that educational robotics activities have the potential to promote the acquisition of such skills and may increase pupils’ interest in STEM disciplines. Despite these results, only few studies have examined the pupils’ perspective regarding the pedagogical value of educational robotics in formal education. Therefore, in this study with 91 pupils aged between 13 and 15 years, we aimed at investigating how pupils perceive educational robotics as a tool to improve their creativity, collaboration, computer science and computational thinking skills and to foster their interest in STEM disciplines. Over a period of one semester, the pupils worked with the robot Thymio II and evaluated their experience through a questionnaire. The results showed that boys and girls have different perceptions on which competences they could enhance: while boys affirmed more often than girls, that they could improve their computer science and computational thinking skills, the opposite was found for collaboration and creativity. Moreover, the results illustrated that educational robotics activities could increase the interest in coding, computer science and engineering, however, this was predominantly observed in boys.


educational robotics; STEM; gender; students’perception; key competences

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Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2018 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).