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A Fresh Look at Novice Programmers’ Performance and Their Teachers’ Expectations

Utting, Ian and Elliott Tew, Allison and McCracken, Mike and Thomas, Lynda and Bouvier, Dennis and Frye, Roger and Paterson, James and Caspersen, Michael and Kolikant, Yifat Ben-David and Sorva, Juha and Wilusz, Tadeusz (2013) A Fresh Look at Novice Programmers’ Performance and Their Teachers’ Expectations. In: Proceedings of the ITiCSE working group reports conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education-working group reports. ITiCSE Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education . ACM, New York, USA, pp. 15-32. ISBN 978-1-4503-2665-0. (doi:10.1145/2543882.2543884) (KAR id:44804)

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This paper describes the results of an ITiCSE working group convened in 2013 to review and revisit the influential ITiCSE 2001 McCracken working group that reported [18] on novice programmers' ability to solve a specified programming problem. Like that study, the one described here asked students to implement a simple program. Unlike the original study, students' in this study were given significant scaffolding for their efforts, including a test harness. Their knowledge of programming concepts was also assessed via a standard language-neutral survey.

One of the significant findings of the original working group was that students were less successful at the programming task than their teachers expected, so in this study teachers' expectations were explicitly gathered and matched with students' performance. This study found a significant correlation between students' performance in the practical task and the survey, and a significant effect on performance in the practical task attributable to the use of the test harness. The study also found a much better correlation between teachers' expectations of their students' performance than in the 2001 working group.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1145/2543882.2543884
Uncontrolled keywords: Programming, CS1, assessment, replication
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Ian Utting
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2014 10:24 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:57 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Utting, Ian:
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