Using neo-Piagetian theory, formative in-Class tests and think alouds to better understand student thinking : a preliminary report on computer programming

Teague, Donna M., Corney, Malcolm W., Fidge, Colin J., Roggenkamp, Michael G., Ahadi, Alireza, & Lister, Raymond (2012) Using neo-Piagetian theory, formative in-Class tests and think alouds to better understand student thinking : a preliminary report on computer programming. In Proceedings of 2012 Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) Annual Conference, Melbourne, Vic.

View at publisher


It is acknowledged around the world that many university students struggle with learning to program (McCracken et al., 2001; McGettrick et al., 2005). In this paper, we describe how we have developed a research programme to systematically study and incrementally improve our teaching. We have adopted a research programme with three elements: (1) a theory that provides an organising framework for defining the type of phenomena and data of interest, (2) data on how the class as a whole performs on formative assessment tasks that are framed from within the organising framework, and (3) data from one-on-one think aloud sessions, to establish why students struggle with some of those in-class formative assessment tasks. We teach introductory computer programming, but this three-element structure of our research is applicable to many areas of engineering education research.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

88 since deposited on 18 Dec 2012
14 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 55828
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: programming, neo-Piagetian, think aloud, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > COMPUTER SOFTWARE (080300)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 18 Dec 2012 05:17
Last Modified: 26 Dec 2014 00:52

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page