Computational thinking (CT) skills are becoming increasingly relevant for future professionals across all domains, beyond computer science (CS). As such, an increasing number of bachelor's and master's programs outside of the CS discipline integrate CT courses within their study program. At the same time, tools such as notebooks and interactive apps designed to support the teaching of programming concepts are becoming ever more popular. However, in non-CS majors, CT might not be perceived as essential, and students might lack the motivation to engage with such tools in order to acquire solid CT skills. This article presents a field study conducted with 115 students during a full semester on a novel computational notebook environment. It evaluates computational notebooks and CT skills in an introductory course on information technology for first-year undergraduates in business and economics. A multidimensional evaluation approach makes use of pre- and post-test surveys, lectures, and self-directed laboratory sessions tracking analytics. Our findings suggest that, in the process of learning CT for non-CS students, engagement in active learning activities can be a stronger determinant of learning outcomes than initial knowledge. Furthermore, gamifying computational notebooks can serve as a strong driver of active learning engagement, even more so than initial motivational factors.