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Computational Thinking

4 Credits
4 Credits

This computational thinking online course prepares K-12 educators on how to foster computational thinking through any discipline. Educators will develop practices to support students as they apply this thinking to problems inside and outside of the classroom.

NOTE: The 4-unit CSED-901 course is equivalent to the 3-unit CSED-712 course that meets the Computer Science Supplemental Authorization requirements for the State of California. Notify the CE office if you wish to use this course to fulfill requirements for the California Computer Science Supplemental Authorization and we will register you for the CSED-712 course.

What is Computational Thinking?

Computational thinking is a set of skills and practices for solving complex problems in a computational world, this is the step that comes before programming. It is the act of breaking down a problem into simple steps for a computer.

There are four computing processes:

  • Decomposing
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Abstraction
  • Algorithmic Thinking

Computational thinking helps students develop computer science skills for a growing job market. Beyond the hard computational thinking skills learned, soft skills of reasoning and problem-solving are learned through computational thinking.

What You’ll Learn in this Course

This fully online course develops practices to support students as they apply computational thinking to problem solve in and outside the classroom. Block-based coding will be explored in the classroom as well as the four computing processes: decomposing, pattern recognition, abstraction, and algorithmic thinking.

This course may be applied to the Computer Science Authorization program. Drawing on the CSTA Computer Science Standards, ISTE Standards for Computer Science Educators, Next Generation Science Standards, and Common Core State Standards, this course will equip educators to cultivate the next generation of creative, clever, and persistent problem solvers.

Course Topics

  • What is Computational Thinking (CT)?
  • Decomposition and Pattern Recognition
  • Abstraction and Algorithms
  • Computational Thinking Through Coding with Scratch
  • Computational Thinking with
  • Classroom Culture of Computing
  • Computational Thinking Curricula & Lessons
  • Communities of Practice

“A class is made up of three things: Teacher, Students, Curriculum. The teacher was very available for questions and feedback. The curriculum helped me to overcome the common conception that Computational Thinking is simply what computers and programmers do. I learned it is a very viable problem-solving technique that is very logical and precise and can be applied to any problem, including coding. I was exposed to a lot of new ideas and online programs.”

– Educator, California

“Great course with lots of practical application.”

– Educator, California

NOTE: Required books must be acquired separately

This course is applicable towards Computer Science Authorization and Licensure.

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Candi Reimer

As a beginning mathematics teacher at an urban high school, I quickly realized that drawing on student interests and experiences was essential to engaged learning. This insight has guided my work in education as a K-12 instructional coach, a developer of mathematics curriculum, and an instructor of professional development. My courses aim to create space for teachers to gather around relevant ideas and practical experiences as they deepen their knowledge and professional practice. Course topics reflect the concerns and curiosities of practicing teachers, equipping them to directly apply learning to classroom teaching. I value the diverse perspectives that Fresno Pacific University students bring to the learning community, and I hope that participants in my courses will be as inspired as I have been by the ideas and dialogue generated here.