Relationships between reading, tracing and writing skills in introductory programming

Association of Computing Machinery
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Fourth International Workshop on Computing Education Research, 2008, pp. 101 - 112
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ABSTRACT: This study analyzed student responses to an examination, after the students had completed one semester of instruction in programming. The performance of students on code tracing tasks correlated with their performance on code writing tasks. A correlation was also found between performance on "explain in plain English" tasks and code writing. A stepwise regression, with performance on code writing as the dependent variable, was used to construct a path diagram. The diagram suggests the possibility of a hierarchy of programming related tasks. Knowledge of programming constructs forms the bottom of the hierarchy, with "explain in English", Parson's puzzles, and the tracing of iterative code forming one or more intermediate levels in the hierarchy.
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