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09:00-11:00 Session 6: Robots and children
You’re Faulty But I Like You: Children’s Perceptions on Faulty Robots
PRESENTER: Sílvia Moros

ABSTRACT. This paper presents a study conducted in a United Kingdom primary school with the Maqueen BBC micro:bit robot. The purpose was to explore whether hardware issues affected the children’s perception of the robot or their enjoyment of the session, and whether the children could cope with these failures and/or repair them. As with any piece of technology, robots break down and are in regular need of reparation, but this technical issue could be a disadvantage in a classroom setting, as it might impact the children’s enjoyment and confidence in their abilities to carry out the given task; potentially this could deter teachers from using this technology. 128 children participated in this study, aged 7 to 12 years old (M=9,18; SD=1,061). While children did perceive robots to be faulty less times than the faults were present in the robots, they did consider themselves capable of solving these issues and enjoyed doing so. Their perception of a faulty robot also did not impact significantly in their enjoyment nor in their consideration of the robot as a machine or a friend.

Effects of introducing a learning robot on the metacognitive knowledge of students aged 8-11
PRESENTER: Marie Martin

ABSTRACT. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning education are entering the classrooms, and yet, the link between their introduction and the development of metacognitive components in students still needs to be addressed. We conducted an experiment with 138 elementary school students (aged 8-11) and tested how the manipulation of a learning robot affected their understanding of the basics of AI, as well as their metacognitive knowledge such as growth mindset, status of error, learning by trial-and-error, and persistence. Results show a positive shift both in students’ AI knowledge and learning beliefs, and thus demonstrate the value of teaching the basics of how AI works to develop solid metacognitive knowledge that promotes learning. Future works should measure a lasting effect on students’ learning behavior and focus on teacher training in new AI activities.

Non-verbal Sound Detection by Humanoid Educational Robots in Game-based Learning. Multiple-Talker Tracking in a Buzzer Quiz Game with the Pepper Robot.
PRESENTER: Ilona Buchem

ABSTRACT. While most research and development in social human-robot interaction, including interactions of learners with educational robots, has focused on verbal communication through speech (synthesis and recognition), research on non-verbal signals has just started to gain attention. Non-verbal sounds such as clapping, laughter and mechanical sounds are often overlooked elements in design and research in social human-robot interaction. This paper presents the design of an educational buzzer quiz game for groups of learners, which is facilitated by the humanoid educational robot Pepper, detecting non-verbal sounds as part of the game-play. The paper describes the scenario and a prototype of a robot-supported buzzer quiz game in classroom settings, outlines the challenges in the real-time detection of a mixture of sounds and presents the approach to real-time auditory and visual multiple-talker tracking, which has been applied in the buzzer quiz game with the Pepper robot. The novelty of this approach lies both in using non-verbal sound detection in an educational application of a humanoid robot in class and in the detection of the sequence of two buzzer sound events during the quiz game-play facilitated by the Pepper robot.

Promoting executive function through computational thinking and robot: two studies for preschool children and hospitalized children

ABSTRACT. Abstract. This article presents two case studies that examine the impact of using computational thinking and robots on executive functions. The first study assesses the impact of a COLBY mouse robot on working memory, while the second examines the effects of combining computational thinking and a Lego robot on executive functions such as planning and emotional regulation. The results suggest that the use of robots for preschool children enhances their ability to sequence actions for coding the robot and improves auditory working memory to a greater extent than phonological working memory. The findings of the study with hospitalized children indicate that a high-technology learning environment fosters engagement, challenge, and moti-vation to learn. The use of the WEDO2 application in building Lego robot models had a positive impact on the students' executive functions, including emotional regulation and self-control.

Assessment of pupils in educational robotics – preliminary results
PRESENTER: Jakub Krcho

ABSTRACT. We have been working on educational robotics for several years and our master work has involved cognitive and psychomotor taxonomies for educational robotics, resulting in our own taxonomy for the cognitive domain and a taxonomy for the psychomotor domain. Throughout the research, we were constantly asked questions about the assessment of the stated learning objectives for educational robotics in the classroom and the assessment of the pupils themselves working with the robotic kits. After these questions were insufficiently answered, we decided to choose the problem of assessment of pupils working with educational robotics on the teaching process as our main research problem, thus providing a deeper insight into this issue. Assessment is one of the most powerful interventions found in the educational research literature that can improve learning and teaching. However, identifying models and tools to assess pupils in relatively new educational activities like robotics is a question whether current approaches to assessing pupils are sufficiently appropriate for such a relatively new educational activity as robotics. Assessment is a compulsory part of the Slovak teaching process. Usually, teachers use grades to assess their pupils, but if we want robotics to be taken seriously, we need to come up with a good assessment method that will motivate pupils and fulfill the basic functions of assessment. In this paper we will try to present the preliminary results of our research.

Revisiting the Pedagogy of Educational Robotics

ABSTRACT. In 2012, I published a book chapter called "Educational Robotics Theories and Practice: tips for how to do it right," focusing on the theoretical foundation of educational robotics and pedagogical approaches to enhance student learning through educational robotics as a learning tool. The pedagogical approaches include the "learner-centered approach," "project-/inquiry-based approach," "supporting student learning with good scaffolding," and "promoting documentation." The chapter was written even before Computing/Computer Science (CS) Education was officially introduced to schools (i.e., The U.K. made computing teaching compulsory from the age of 5 in 2014). The paper revisits the chapter and reexamines the pedagogical approaches, including those in CS education and engineering education, to update the knowledge base to deepen the understanding of the power of educational robotics in promoting interdisciplinary STREAM education in primary and secondary education.

11:00-11:30Coffee Break
11:30-13:00 Session 7: Collaboration both in robotics and education
Integrating secondary school and primary school learners to grasp robotics in Namibia through collaborative learning

ABSTRACT. Learning by applying motivates learners to put the theory into practice. However, at least in the Global South, it seems that the concept of applying seems to be not common yet in K-12 education, even for technology related subjects. We conducted an educational robotics (ER) workshop with the aim of exploring how collaborative learning can aid secondary school and primary school learners grasp robotics. The qualitative analysis indicates that learners were exposed to robotics and coding knowledge through this ER workshop, and they further wanted to learn more about these technologies. The results can be applied by practitioners in Namibia when considering incorporating robotics in the formal school curriculum, after-school robotics programs and robotics boot-camps.

Collaborative construction of a multi-robot remote laboratory: Description and experience

ABSTRACT. In this paper the Robotarium-UCM is presented, a low-cost multi-robot remote laboratory for teaching robotics, control and distributed robotics. Robotarium-UCM is a physical laboratory capable of being remotely operated that is part of the remote laboratories of the research group to which the authors belong.

Pair-Programming with a Telepresence Robot
PRESENTER: Janika Leoste

ABSTRACT. Telepresence robots (TPRs) are seen as promising tools for maintaining social presence in distance learning conditions, contributing to student persistence and wellbeing by reducing their feeling of isolation and distress. We examined the challenges that the use of telepresence robots in a pair-programming course presents to the teacher and students. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from the teacher and four students about their experience of being mediated via a telepresence robot and having a teacher or student mediated via a telepresence robot. The data were coded and analyzed to map the main challenges. Four general areas of concern were revealed: preconditions for use, justifications for use, robot characteristics, and potential challenges. Using TPRs is justified for students in conditions where their social presence is required (e.g., in discussions, workshops or other educational activities). In this particular case, the use was not recommended for the teacher. TPRs’ educational implementation should be planned meticulously to maximize their positive effect and to reduce potential setbacks. In addition, the TPR's features should match as best as possible to the requirements of the educational activities to be carried out in a specific physical and social environment.

13:00-14:00Lunch Break
14:00-15:40 Session 8: Gamification, competitions
Learning Through Competitions - The FIRA Youth Mission Impossible Competition
PRESENTER: Reinhard Gerndt

ABSTRACT. This paper discusses challenges and opportunities when using competitions in robotics education. In particular, we describe our experiences with commercial companies creating high performing solutions for competitions, which allow students to create competitive entries with little work and negatively affecting the learning process.

We describe the Federation of International RoboSports Association (FIRA) competition and in particular the \fmip, an event targeted at overcoming this problem by asking students to create their own working robot systems to solve previously unknown tasks quickly.

We also show the positive influence that robot competitions, even when targeted at younger roboticists, can have on cutting edge research. The \fmip\ 2022 competition, where students had to measure the weight of bottles, and hence the wrench applied on the robot using only proprioception, inspired an initial approach and the creation of a practical test-bed for much more complex wrench estimation on hexapod robots.

Using a Robot to teach Python

ABSTRACT. Educational robotics is rooted in Constructionism and allows learners to investi-gate and discover new concepts. It would appear that learning a programming language while programming a robot is more motivating and productive than conventional methods. El Greco is an educational platform built to teach Python. Users can control El Greco from any computer connected to the Internet due to the platform’s web-based interface. El Greco is a social humanoid robot built to be affordable and appropriate for use in education. Potential users can use Python direct code entry or the Blockly library to control El Greco. The Blockly library embeds an editor in an application allowing the representation of coding notions like interlocking blocks. Unique functions that control El Greco were created. The inserted code can be executed on the website or by the Robot. The user can view the result of code execution through a live-streaming window. El Greco platform has been designed with students in mind but is available to anyone at no cost.

BlackPearl: the impact of a marine robotics competition on a class of international undergraduate students

ABSTRACT. Robotics competitions are a great tool to address challenging tasks, encouraging young people to be active in STEM and developing a complimentary essential skill set in management, teamwork and complex problem solving. This paper presents the experience of a team of undergraduate students participating in a marine robotics competition and receiving the Best Rookie Award. This paper also outlines lesson learned about embedding robotics field competitions in an undergraduate program.

An overview of common educational robotics competition challenges

ABSTRACT. Educational robotics have become an integral part of STEM education. Robotics competitions are complementary to relevant courses and they have been gaining popularity worldwide. Some common challenges in such events are reviewed using the paradigm of Robotex competition in order to exemplify the concepts and highlight their educational value.

Planning Poker Simulation with the Humanoid Robot NAO in Project Management Courses.
PRESENTER: Ilona Buchem

ABSTRACT. Learning how to predict effort is important for any project team. In agile teams, Planning Poker is one of the most popular estimation game-based techniques used to come to a consensus about how much work should be done in a given iteration. Usually, product owner or scrum master facilitate planning poker with their team. This paper presents the application of the humanoid robot NAO as a robotic coach and facilitator of planning poker with university students in two project management courses. To the best of our knowledge, no previous research has investigated the use of NAO as a facilitator of planning poker. The paper describes the design of the planning poker simulation, the programming of the robot, as well as the implementation and evaluation of the application “Planning poker with NAO” in two on-campus pilot studies with a total of 29 university students. The evaluation aimed to investigate students' perceptions of the design of the simulation and its effects on students’ understanding of agile estimation. Data was collected using an online survey. The results show that the design of the planning poker simulation facilitated by the NAO robot was helpful for students to understand the concept of relative estimation in agile teams.

15:40-16:00Coffee Break & Poster session
16:00-17:00 Session 9: Misc. topics
How to Draw Cardioids with LEGO Robots: a Technical-Mathematical Project in Higher Education
PRESENTER: Attila Körei

ABSTRACT. Drawing robots have been made for decades, but there are only a few designs that can be used directly to teach mathematics in higher technical and IT education. Our goal is to present the case of using LEGO robots for drawing cardioid curves. Two different derivations of the cardioid curve were used to design the robot mechanism. In the first case, the curve is drawn by means of gears rolling on each other, in the second case by means of circular movements carried out by two motors. This paper examines the details of the construction of both types, together with the theoretical background. Finally, we present a STEAM learning guided project based on the use of cardioid drawing robots.

Educational Robots, Semiotics and Language Development
PRESENTER: Dave Catlin

ABSTRACT. When students interact with robots, they engage in semiotic processes. We ask: what are these, how do they work, and how do students learn from them? We begin with definitions linking pupils, robots and learning. Then we explain basic semiotic ideas introducing the Continental approach started by Ferdinand de Saussure and the American methods of Charles Sanders Peirce. By analysing six successful lessons from this new viewpoint, we find the value of robots beyond coding. We believe the semiotic approach could enrich the sample lessons, help teachers assess students' work and hint at ways to improve robot designs.