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Novice Programming Students' Learning of Concepts and Practise
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Scientific Computing. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Numerical Analysis. (UpCERG)
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Computer programming is a core area in computer science education that involves practical as well as conceptual learning goals. The literature in programming education reports however that novice students have great problems in their learning. These problems apply to concepts as well as to practise.

The empirically based research presented in this thesis contributes to the body of knowledge on students' learning by investigating the relationship between conceptual and practical learning in novice student learning of programming. Previous research in programming education has focused either on students' practical or conceptual learning. The present research indicates however that students' problems with learning to program partly depend on a complex relationship and mutual dependence between the two.

The most significant finding is that practise, in terms of activities at different levels of proficiency, and qualitatively different conceptual understandings, have dimensions of variation in common.

An analytical model is suggested where the dimensions of variation relate both to concepts and activities. The implications of the model are several. With the dimensions of variation at the center of learning this implies that when students discern a dimension of variation, related conceptual understandings and the meaning embedded in related practises can be discerned.

Activities as well as concepts can relate to more than one dimension. Activities at a higher level of proficiency, as well as qualitatively richer understandings of concepts, relate to more dimensions of variation.

Concrete examples are given on how variation theory and patterns of variation can be applied in teaching programming. The results can be used by educators to help students discern dimensions of variation, and thus facilitate practical as well as conceptual learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2009. , p. 76
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 600
Keywords [en]
Computer science education, computer science education research, object-oriented programming, novice students, phenomenography, variation theory, dimensions of variation, learning, higher education, concepts, practise, Ways of Thinking and Practising
National Category
Computer Sciences Didactics
Research subject
Computer Science with specialization in Computer Science Education Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-9551ISBN: 978-91-554-7406-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-9551DiVA, id: diva2:173221
Public defence
2009-03-06, Room 2446, Polacksbacken, Lägerhyddsvägen 2D, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-02-13 Created: 2009-02-13 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Novice Java Programmers' Conceptions of "Object" and "Class", and Variation Theory
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Novice Java Programmers' Conceptions of "Object" and "Class", and Variation Theory
2005 (English)In: SIGCSE Bulletin inroads, ISSN 0097-8418, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 89-93Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Computer Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-75137 (URN)10.1145/1151954.1067473 (DOI)
Note
Also published (in summarized form) in Ann. Res. Engrg. Ed., Vol. 2, No. 3, 2006.Available from: 2007-01-27 Created: 2007-01-27 Last updated: 2018-01-14Bibliographically approved
2. Putting Threshold Concepts into Context in Computer Science Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Putting Threshold Concepts into Context in Computer Science Education
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2006 (English)In: SIGCSE Bulletin inroads, ISSN 0097-8418, Vol. 38, no 3, p. 103-107Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Computer Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-20294 (URN)10.1145/1140123.1140154 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-03-07 Created: 2008-03-07 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
3. Threshold Concepts in Computer Science: Do they exist and are they useful?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Threshold Concepts in Computer Science: Do they exist and are they useful?
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2007 (English)In: SIGCSE Bulletin inroads, ISSN 0097-8418, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 504-508Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Computer Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-20482 (URN)10.1145/1227504.1227482 (DOI)000267059300117 ()
Available from: 2008-03-07 Created: 2008-03-07 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
4. Variation theory applied to students' conceptions of computer programming
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Variation theory applied to students' conceptions of computer programming
2009 (English)In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898, Vol. 34, p. 339-347Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Computer Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-98048 (URN)10.1080/03043790902989374 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-02-13 Created: 2009-02-13 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
5. What Does It Take to Learn 'Programming Thinking'?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What Does It Take to Learn 'Programming Thinking'?
2005 (English)In: Proc. 1st International Computing Education Research Workshop, New York: ACM Press , 2005, p. 135-142Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: ACM Press, 2005
National Category
Computer Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-78979 (URN)10.1145/1089786.1089799 (DOI)1-59593-043-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2008-11-26 Created: 2008-11-26 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
6. Successful Students' Strategies for Getting Unstuck
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Successful Students' Strategies for Getting Unstuck
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2007 (English)In: SIGCSE Bulletin inroads, ISSN 0097-8418, Vol. 39, no 3, p. 156-160Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Computer Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-11447 (URN)10.1145/1269900.1268831 (DOI)000267363900032 ()
Available from: 2008-03-07 Created: 2008-03-07 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
7. Categorizing student software designs: Methods, results, and implications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Categorizing student software designs: Methods, results, and implications
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2006 (English)In: Computer Science Education, ISSN 0899-3408, E-ISSN 1744-5175, Vol. 16, p. 197-209Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Computer Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-20363 (URN)10.1080/08993400600912376 (DOI)
Available from: 2006-12-07 Created: 2006-12-07 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
8. From Limen to Lumen: Computing students in liminal spaces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From Limen to Lumen: Computing students in liminal spaces
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2007 (English)In: Proc. 3rd International Computing Education Research Workshop, New York: ACM Press , 2007, p. 123-132Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: ACM Press, 2007
National Category
Computer Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-11482 (URN)10.1145/1288580.1288597 (DOI)978-1-59593-841-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2007-09-18 Created: 2007-09-18 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
9. Ways of Thinking and Practising in Introductory Programming
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ways of Thinking and Practising in Introductory Programming
2009 (English)Report (Other academic)
Series
Technical report / Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, ISSN 1404-3203 ; 2009-002
National Category
Computer Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-88330 (URN)
Available from: 2009-01-29 Created: 2009-01-29 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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