Paper Analysis: “Exploration of learning gained through Coderdojo coding activities”


Sheridan, I., Goggin, D., & O’Sullivan, L. (2016). Exploration of Learning Gained through CoderDojo Coding Activities, (March). Retrieved from


  • this paper focused on the efforts to support the development of coding capability in young people in a CoderDojo and it set out to identify the skills which may be transferrable in an education and workplace setting
  • Digital Skills and Digital Literacy:
    • The European Commission defines digital literacy as “the skills required to achieve digital competence, the confident and critical use of ICT for work, leisure, learning and communication” and it is “underpinned by basic technical use of computers and the internet.”
    • The ECDL Foundation suggests a framework where digital profiency progresses through awareness – literacy – competence – expertise
    • information and media literacy = the use of digital tools to find, process, and organise information and to interpret, use and create media respectively
    • generational impacts are also considered – those born after the mid-1980s are the first generation to grow up with technology
    • coding is used interchangeably with programming and computing = the development of instructions at a higher level including object-oriented and problem-oriented languages
  • Introducing Coding into the Curriculum
    • economic purpose and is based on the need to complete at a global level and on he hope that we can produce the “next big thing” in technology
    • an expectation that learning code will enhance interactions with technology as well as contributing to other skills development
    • rationale for introducing coding to the curriculum (European Schoolnet)
      • logical thinking skills
      • coding and programming skills
      • problem-solving skills
      • employability in the ICT sector
      • attracting more students to study computer science at 3rd level
      • other key competencies
  • Skills gained through coding
    • Scratch teaches children to “think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively”
    • Logo Programming increased the ability for abstract thought
    • development of individual cognitive skills in the context of engagement with others (constructivism)
    • systems level thinking
    • iterative critical problem solving
    • art and aesthetics
    • writing and storytelling
    • interactive design
    • game logic and rules
    • programming skills
  • 21st Century Skills required for active participation in the digital information society (European Commission):
    • Personal and Cognitive development – critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, decision making
    • Digital and Media Skills – information literacy, media literacy, ICT Proficiency
    • Active Citizenship – Flexibility and adaptability, personal accountability, goal-setting productivity, leadership
  • European Union model on the skills acquired through coding activities:
    • Identification
    • Documentation
    • Assessment
    • Certification
  • Skills identification and evidencing
    • Framework 1: European Classification of Skills/Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) framework – European Commission initiative
      • development of common European terminology which will make it easier to identify links between skills, competences, qualifications and occupations throughout the region
    • Framework 2: e-Competence Framework
      • establish common standards across descriptions of ICT skills requirements and gaps across Europe
  • Research Methodology
    • The European Qualification Framework (EQF) was selected as a standards based appraoch as it is transferrbale nationally and internationally
    • the skills analysis template allowed learning gained to be found in terms of task completion when there was no structured curriculum or learning outcomes standard
  • Findings and Analysis
    • the skills analysis template revealed knowledge, skills and competences that could be demonstrated and aliged with the EQF level 1-3 (levels most relevant to the age profile of participants in the CoderDojo)
    • 4 CoderDojos in 4 European countries took part – Ireland, Spain, Poland and the UK.
    • mentors in the participating groups were asked to complete skills analysis templates for 10 individual, randomly selected participants
    • at the time of writing the paper just over 50% of templates were returned and the conclusions so far are:
      • EQF Level 1 are demonstrated by all participants no matter the age of geographic location of the Dojo
      • EQF Level 2 are demonstrated in all participants over 13 and by almost 75% of participants under 12
      • EQF Level 3 was demonstrated by some but not all over 16 year olds and was almost unachievable by younger participants

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