Measurement of Executive Functioning Using a Playful Robot in Kindergarten

Corrie C. Urlings*, Karien M. Coppens, Lex Borghans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We explored the potential of a robotics application in education as a measurement tool of child executive functioning skills. Sixty-five kindergarteners received assignments to go through a maze with a programmable robot, the Bee-Bot. Via observation we quantified how they solved these tasks. Their performance was successfully aggregated into a latent variable, which was used to predict the outcomes on standardized tasks that measure executive functioning. The latent variable significantly predicted performance on several tasks that measure problem-solving abilities, memory, visuospatial abilities and attention. It did not significantly predict pencil-and-paper tasks that measured visuospatial ability and nonverbal or design fluency. This study showed that it is possible to use a playful robotics task to obtain information on children''s ability. We recommend more research on using diverse robots in larger samples with different age groups to further explore the possibilities of robots as a test instrument.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-273
Number of pages19
JournalComputers in the Schools
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Programming
  • robots
  • executive functioning
  • kindergarten
  • COMPUTATIONAL THINKING
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • LONDON
  • EXPLORATION
  • ABILITIES
  • VALIDITY
  • CHILDREN
  • TOWER

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