Video 7: Comprehension
Our goal is not only to make our CS content accessible to our learners. It’s to have our learners take that information and use it in meaningful, authentic ways. Comprehension focuses on making sure information is taught and facilitated in a way that learners can actively understand. The goal is to provide accessible information that can be turned into knowledge in ways that are active and engaging for the learner.
Strategies for comprehension include:
- Make sure CS tasks are interesting and culturally relevant. This keeps the learning in a familiar and personally meaningful context.
- Providing background information helps students make connections and anchors new learning with prior knowledge.
- Highlight big ideas supports students’ focus on the most important aspects of the lesson. Making the most important information and distinctions clear helps students to make these connections so that they can develop expert learning skills.
- Scaffold CS learning and showing the thinking behind computational decision making assists students in using mental strategies needed to solve computational problems.
- Use checklists, design journals, and graphic organizers can help organize content and transfer knowledge to new contexts.
- Consider ways of using multiple entry points within CS activities so students can have different pathways into these activities.
Learning computer science involves a lot of information. Making tasks interesting and guiding processing helps students to build understanding of programming and computational thinking concepts.
Resources related to this guideline include:
- Location of comprehension on CAST’s graphic organizer
- CAST: Comprension
- UDL for Teachers: Comprehension
Note: We use CAST’s (2018) Version 2.2 of the Guidelines. The CAST link is similarly numbered. UDL for Teachers uses a previous version of the guidelines, so numbering and terms may vary.