Examining STEM Students' Computational Thinking Skills through Interactive Practicum Utilizing Technology


  • Ni Nyoman Sri Putu Verawati University of Mataram https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3717-6259
  • Khaerul Rijal The University of Sheffield
  • Nuraqilla Waidha B Grendis Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia




Computational thinking skills, Interactive practicums, Virtual laboratories, Physical laboratories, virtual simulation, STEM students


This research study explores and compares the computational thinking skills demonstrated by STEM students during interactive practicums involving both virtual laboratories and physical laboratories. The objectives of the study are to assess the performance of computational thinking skills in each practicum setting and to determine any differences between the two environments. An experimental approach was adopted, and 106 first-year STEM students from a distinguished private university in Indonesia participated in the study. The students were divided into two groups, one using virtual labs and the other using physical labs. The study employed a portfolio instrument to assess various aspects of computational thinking, including problem reformulation, recursion, problem decomposition, abstraction, and systematic testing. The findings show that both groups of students achieved "good" scores for computational thinking skills. However, students in the virtual labs group demonstrated superior skills compared to the physical labs group. The aspects of problem reformulation and abstraction received the highest scores in both groups, while problem decomposition received the lowest scores. A MANOVA test confirmed statistically significant differences in computational thinking skills between the two practicum environments. The study suggests that the use of virtual labs can positively impact students' computational thinking abilities. The results have implications for educators and institutions seeking to enhance students' computational thinking skills and design effective STEM practicums.


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How to Cite

Verawati, N. N. S. P., Rijal, K., & Grendis, N. W. B. (2023). Examining STEM Students’ Computational Thinking Skills through Interactive Practicum Utilizing Technology. International Journal of Essential Competencies in Education, 2(1), 54–65. https://doi.org/10.36312/ijece.v2i1.1360



Original Research Article