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.

View at publisher

Abstract

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.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

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.

ID Code: 88754
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Neo-Piagetian theory, programming, novice programmers, think aloud, reversibility
DOI: 10.1145/2591708.2591712
ISBN: 9781450328333
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

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page