A fresh look at novice programmers' performance and their teachers' expectations

Ian Utting, Allison Elliott Tew, Mike McCracken, Lynda Thomas, Dennis Bouvier, Roger Frye, James Paterson, Michael Caspersen, Yifat Ben David Kolikant, Juha Sorva, Tadeusz Wilusz

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

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationITiCSE-WGR 2013 - Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages15-32
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781450326650
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Event18th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE-WGR 2013 - Canterbury, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jul 20133 Jul 2013

Publication series

NameITiCSE-WGR 2013 - Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education

Conference

Conference18th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE-WGR 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityCanterbury
Period1/07/133/07/13

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • CS1
  • Programming
  • Replication

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