The effect of prior education on students’ competency in digital logic: the case of ultraorthodox Jewish students

Yifat Ben-David Kolikant*, Sara Genut

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

In line with the growing interest in extending the diversity of CS students, we examined the performance of a unique group of students studying an introductory course in Digital logic: ultraorthodox Jewish men, whose previous education was based mostly on studying Talmud and who lacked a conventional high-school education. We used questions from the Digital Logic Concept Inventory. We compared the results to those of religious Jewish men with a conventional high-school education, and to the results reported in the literature. The ultraorthodox group performed better than the other groups in tasks that concerned number representation. No other statistically significant differences were found. Talk-aloud protocols revealed that the ultraorthodox students utilized a viable conceptual understanding in their performance. We can conclude that students’ unique, alternative prior education should not be merely viewed as an obstacle to their academic studies, but also as a potential source for strengths.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)149-174
Number of pages26
JournalComputer Science Education
Volume27
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Diversity
  • Talmudic prior education
  • concept inventory
  • logic design
  • ultraorthodox Jews

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