Programming: Reading, writing and reversing
Teague, Donna & Lister, Raymond (2014) Programming: Reading, writing and reversing. In Clear, Tony & Pears, Arnold (Eds.) Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, Association for Computing Machinery, Uppsala, Sweden, pp. 285-290.
In this paper, we look at the concept of reversibility, that is, negating opposites, counterbalances, and actions that can be reversed. Piaget identified reversibility as an indicator of the ability to reason at a concrete operational level. We investigate to what degree novice programmers manifest the ability to work with this concept of reversibility by providing them with a small piece of code and then asking them to write code that undoes the effect of that code. On testing entire cohorts of students in their first year of learning to program, we found an overwhelming majority of them could not cope with such a concept. We then conducted think aloud studies of novices where we observed them working on this task and analyzed their contrasting abilities to deal with it. The results of this study demonstrate the need for better understanding our students' reasoning abilities, and a teaching model aimed at that level of reality.
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|Item Type:||Conference Paper|
|Keywords:||Neo-Piagetian theory, programming, novice programmers, think aloud, reversibility|
|Divisions:||Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2014 ACM|
|Deposited On:||20 Oct 2015 04:42|
|Last Modified:||20 Oct 2015 04:42|
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