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Learning Robotics, with Robotics, by Robotics by Elisabetta Zibetti, Ilaria Gaudiello

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Preface

This book is about how educational robotics (ER) is affecting the representation, acceptance and learning of its users. Through a psychological perspective, the book discusses the three ER learning paradigms that are distinguished by the different hardware, software and correspondent modes of interaction allowed by the robot: (1) learning robotics, (2) learning with robotics and (3) learning by robotics [TEJ 06, GAU 14].

For learning robotics [ALI 09], students use a robot as a platform to learn robotics or, more broadly, engineering – i.e. mechanics, electronics and programming – in a hands-on and collaborative way [PET 04, LIU 10, SOA 11, BEN 12]. In this framework, our objective is to investigate learning robotics under the issue of mental representation [GAU 15]. Here, the underlying research question is which representation users hold about robots when constructing and programming a robot? By robot representation, we mean its ontological and pedagogical status and how such status changes when users learn robotics. In order to answer this question, we will present an experimental study that we carried out based on pre- and postinquiries, involving 79 participants. The results show that building and programming a robot (Bot’n Roll®) fosters a more nuanced judgment about robots’ belonging to the living and non-living categories but, on the other side, a more definite judgment about the pedagogical roles that a robot may serve.

For learning with robotics [DAU 03], robots ...

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