Microworlds to Improve Learning in Introductory Computer Programming Courses
James Robertson, University of Maryland University College, United States ; Jeffrey Kenton, Towson University, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in San Diego, CA, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-78-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
Novice programmers often struggle when attempting to learn how to write code. This research aims to evaluate if entry-level programming students who use the Alice 2.0 programming environment demonstrate a better understanding of programming concepts than students who use a traditional Visual C++ programming environment. Results of this study showed students who used the Alice programming environment consistently scored higher in the layout grading component for all programming assignments. However, there was no difference found between the two programming environments in regards to code functionality or design or in the pre- and post-test scores between the two groups. A larger percentage of students from the group that used the Alice programming environment successfully passed the course, yet these students rated the instructor and overall course significantly lower than students who used the Visual C++ programming environment.
Robertson, J. & Kenton, J. (2010). Microworlds to Improve Learning in Introductory Computer Programming Courses. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2010--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 3348-3355). San Diego, CA, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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