Building a Computational Culture: a pedagogical study of a computer programming requirement - Nick Senske

As computational design becomes increasingly important to architectural practice, curricula must be updated to teach new outlooks and skills to the next generation of design students. Over the last two years, UNC Charlotte has tested a curriculum that emphasizes computational thinking and methods. The core of this curriculum is a required course that introduces over 70 students a year to the fundamental ideas of computation through exposure to programming in a design context. This paper describes our teaching methods and our findings from a study of the course, which includes attempts to measure student outcomes, attitudes about computing, and the application of computation after the course. The results of our study, which suggest an inclusive methodology and emphasize the cultural dimension of this pedagogical task, may help schools in the planning and implementation of their own courses that introduce computational design.