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Digital Library Directory > New Perspectives in Science Education 10th Edition 2021
New Perspectives in Science Education 10th Edition 2021

A Systematic Review of the Use of BBC Micro:bit in Primary School

Michail Kalogiannakis; Effransia Tzagaraki; Stamatios Papadakis


The BBC micro:bit programmable device first appeared in the UK in 2016, and since then, it has been the subject of several studies. This paper is a systematic review of the literature on its use in primary education, including twelve empirical studies published from 2016 – 2020 that are under review. This literature review's research goal was to investigate research studies on the effects of using BBC micro:bit  for learning. The Goal, Question, Metrics (GQM) approach was adopted as it represents a systematic approach for defining and evaluating a set of operational goals using measurement (Basili, 1992). Informed by the established method of systematic review (Kitchenham & Charters, 2007, p.6) the present study undertook the review in three main Phases: Planning the Review, Conducting the Review, Reporting the Review. The relevant bibliography data are systematically grouped according to their topic into four categories. Firstly, studies that present the experiences of both students and teachers from the use of micro: bit, secondly studies that describe the possibilities or any barriers that may result from its use, thirdly studies that research the effects of its use on skill development such as computational thinking and finally studies that analyze its possible connection with increasing motivation for programming. The review shows that students and teachers adopt a favorable attitude towards the use of micro: bit, show enthusiasm when engaging in relevant activities, and in general, find it interesting. There is a variety of applications and practices by teachers depending on the style of each one. Students consider that it encourages creativity and can be useful, and by being tangible, it helps them understand conceptual and procedural knowledge and activities related to computational thinking, problem-solving, and programming in general. The small number of the available literature, especially on its implementation in primary education level, demonstrates the need for more empirical research on the BBC micro: bit device and its pedagogical strategies that will enhance learning outcomes. The lack of any summarization of existing research makes the systematic synthesis of this data essential as it will contribute to a more comprehensive knowledge of the subject for the future reader. A meta-analysis was performed to ensure the validity and reliability of the results. 

Keywords: BBC micro:bit, primary school / education.


  • Kitchenham, B., & Charters, S. (2007). Guidelines for performing systematic literature reviews in software engineering technical Report EBSE 2007-001. Keele University and Durham University Joint Report.
  • Basili, V.R., 1992. Software Modeling and Measurement: The Goal/Question/Metric Paradigm. University of Maryland at College Park, 24

Publication date: 2021/03/19
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