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Novices' Progress in Introductory Programming Courses

Linda Mannila, Novices' Progress in Introductory Programming Courses. Informatics in Education 6(1), 139–152, 2007.


This paper presents an approach for educators to evaluate student progress throughout a course, and not merely based on a final exam. We introduce progress reports and describe how these can be used as a tool to evaluate student learning and understanding during programming courses. Complemented with data from surveys and the exam, the progress reports can be used to build an overall picture of individual student progress in a course, and to answer questions related to how students (1) understand program code as a whole, (2) understand individual constructs, and (3) perceive the difficulty level of different programming topics. We also present results from using this approach in introductory programming courses at secondary level. Our initial experience from using the progress reports is positive, as they provide valuable information during the course, which most likely would remain uncovered otherwise.

BibTeX entry:

  title = {Novices' Progress in Introductory Programming Courses},
  author = {Mannila, Linda},
  journal = {Informatics in Education},
  volume = {6},
  number = {1},
  pages = {139–152},
  year = {2007},
  keywords = {introductory programming, learning programming, program understanding, SOLO taxonomy},

Belongs to TUCS Research Unit(s): Learning and Reasoning Lab

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