Design, Code, Stitch, Wear, and Show It! Mobile Visual Pattern Design in School Contexts

Bernadette Spieler, Vesna Krnjic, Wolfgang Slany, Karin Horneck, Ute Neudorfer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Much attention in learning about programming has focused on designing video games and supporting pupils to build playable artefacts. Gender differences in playing behaviour and game preferences raise concerns about possible gender inequalities when games are used as a motivation to explore coding. The Code'n'Stitch project (2018-2020) funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG/FEMtech) introduces a gender-sensitive pedagogical framework for handicraft lessons in Austrian secondary schools creating wearable computing technologies by using mobile visual pattern design with the Pocket Code App. As part of this project, we have extended the app with the function to program embroidery machines and used the interests of the target group of teenagers, particularly girls, and teachers at a very early stage of the development cycle of the app extension and materials. In this Research to Practice Full Paper we present our target group using personas and insights of the workshops for a requirements analysis of the app and the learning material. Furthermore, we explore how to effectively support non-Computer Science teachers in such coding activities, or the difficulties in transferring designs initially drawn on paper to programmed artefacts. The main methods used during the exploratory workshops include on-site observation notes, questionnaires, interviews, and analysis of designs. The results of this paper describe the atmosphere in the classroom, explore this approach more broadly by providing insights into the experience of learners and teachers, and presents the results of the initial usability evaluation of the app using a Thinking Aloud test.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages9
VolumeVolume 2020-October
ISBN (Electronic)9781728189611
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2020
Event2020 Frontiers in Education - Virtuell, Sweden
Duration: 21 Oct 202024 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference2020 Frontiers in Education
Abbreviated titleFIE 2020
Internet address


  • creative coding
  • handicraft lesson
  • maker tools
  • secondary school education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this