A Closer Look at Tracing, Explaining and Code Writing Skills in the Novice Programmer

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dc.contributor.author Venables, Anne en_US
dc.contributor.author Tan, Grace en_US
dc.contributor.author Lister, Raymond en_US
dc.contributor.editor Clancy, M., Caspersen, M., Lister, R. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-05-28T10:04:05Z
dc.date.available 2010-05-28T10:04:05Z
dc.date.issued 2009 en_US
dc.identifier 2009002706 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Venables Anne, Tan Grace, and Lister Raymond 2009, 'A Closer Look at Tracing, Explaining and Code Writing Skills in the Novice Programmer', Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, pp. 117-128. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 978-1-60558-615-1 en_US
dc.identifier.other E1 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10453/11384
dc.description.abstract Abstract: The way in which novice programmers learn to write code is of considerable interest to computing education researchers. One research approach to understanding how beginners acquire their programming abilities has been to look at student performance in exams. Lopez et al. (2008) analyzed student responses to an end-of-first-semester exam. They found two types of questions accounted for 46% of the variance on the code writing portion of the same exam. One of those types of question required students to trace iterative code, while the other type required students to explain what a piece of code did. In this paper, we investigate whether the results by Lopez et al. may be generally indicative of something about novice programmers, or whether their results are just an artifact of their particular exam. We studied student responses to our own exam and our results are broadly consistent with Lopez et al. However, we did find that some aspects of their model are sensitive to the particular exam questions used. Specifically, we found that student performance on explaining code was hard to characterize, and the strength of the relationship between explaining and code writing is particularly sensitive to the specific questions asked. Additionally, we found Lopez et al.'s use of a Rasch model to be unnecessary, which will make it far easier for others to conduct similar research. en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.publisher Association for Computing Machinery en_US
dc.relation.hasversion Accepted manuscript version en_US
dc.relation.isbasedon http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1584322.1584336 en_US
dc.rights © ACM 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Fifth International Computing Education Research Workshop (2009) http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1584322.1584336 en_US
dc.title A Closer Look at Tracing, Explaining and Code Writing Skills in the Novice Programmer en_US
dc.parent Fifth International Computing Education Research Workshop en_US
dc.journal.volume en_US
dc.journal.number en_US
dc.publocation New York, NY, USA en_US
dc.identifier.startpage 117 en_US
dc.identifier.endpage 128 en_US
dc.cauo.name FEIT.Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.for 139900 en_US
dc.personcode 0000059693 en_US
dc.personcode 0000059694 en_US
dc.personcode 010292 en_US
dc.percentage 100 en_US
dc.classification.name Other Education en_US
dc.classification.type FOR-08 en_US
dc.edition en_US
dc.custom International Computing Education Research Workshop en_US
dc.date.activity 20090810 en_US
dc.location.activity Berkeley, CA, USA en_US
dc.description.keywords CS1, comprehension, hierarchy, novice programmers, tracing en_US
dc.staffid 010292 en_US


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