Our research would focus on how courses that teach physical computing choose, merge, or emphasize the purposes, values, and norms for the course to be embedded into the artifacts created in the form of documentation from these very different contexts. We explore the role of documentation within both instruction and learning, looking into how these artifacts contribute to the communication of the courses' learning objectives and the instructor's intentions.
In this work, we begin with a survey of a sample of syllabi from physical computing courses across programs, domains, and institutions, to build an understanding of the motivations, tools, and learning goals for having students create documentation in physical computing courses. We then supplement this analysis with a set of interviews with instructors of physical computing courses, digging into the challenges and successes of various approaches to student documentation.
* This study is supervised by UIUC IRB, so only limited desensitization data can be shown here.