Authenticity and Personal Creativity: How EarSketch Affects Student Persistence

Authors: Tom Mcklin, Brian Magerko, Taneisha Lee, Dana Linnell Wanzer, Doug Edwards, Jason Freeman


STEAM education is an approach to engage students in STEM topics by prioritizing personal expression, creativity, and aesthetics. EarSketch, a collaborative and authentic learning tool, introduces students to programming through music remixing, has previously been shown to increase student engagement, and increases learner’s intentions to persist in computing. The goal of EarSketch is to broaden participation in computing through a thickly authentic learning environment that has personal and real world relevance in both computational and music domains. This article reports a quasi-experimental study suggesting that an authentic learning environment predicts increased intentions to persist via identity/belongingness and creativity. We ran a path analysis that exposed the creativity subscales, and this analysis reveals that “sharing” is the one creativity sub-construct that predicts increased intention to persist. This work makes a significant contribution to computer science education by revealing how an authentic STEAM curriculum affects student attitudes and knowledge, by presenting scales to measure authenticity and personal creativity, and by discussing how identity/belongingness may affect student success.

Mcklin, Tom & Magerko, Brian & Lee, Taneisha & Wanzer, Dana & Edwards, Doug & Freeman, Jason. (2018). Authenticity and Personal Creativity: How EarSketch Affects Student Persistence. 987-992. 10.1145/3159450.3159523.

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