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A Survey of Literature on the Teaching of Introductory Programming

Arnold Pears, Stephen Seidman, Lauri Malmi, Linda Mannila, Elizabeth Adams, Jens Bennedsen, Marie Devlin, James Paterson, A Survey of Literature on the Teaching of Introductory Programming. ACM Inroads 39(4), 204–223, 2007.


Three decades of active research on the teaching of introductory programming has had limited effect on classroom practice. Although relevant research exists across several disciplines including education and cognitive science, disciplinary differences have made this material inaccessible to many computing educators. Furthermore, computer science instructors have not had access to a comprehensive survey of research in this area. This paper collects and classifies this literature, identifies important work and mediates it to computing educators and professional bodies.

We identify research that gives well-supported advice to computing academics teaching introductory programming. Limitations and areas of incomplete coverage of existing research efforts are also identified. The analysis applies publication and research quality metrics developed by a previous ITiCSE working group [74].

BibTeX entry:

  title = {A Survey of Literature on the Teaching of Introductory Programming},
  author = {Pears, Arnold and Seidman, Stephen and Malmi, Lauri and Mannila, Linda and Adams, Elizabeth and Bennedsen, Jens and Devlin, Marie and Paterson, James},
  journal = {ACM Inroads},
  volume = {39},
  number = {4},
  pages = {204–223},
  year = {2007},
  ISSN = {2153-2184},

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

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