A Quantitative and Qualitative Investigation of Using Alice Programming to Improve Confidence, Enjoyment and Achievement among Non-Majors
Journal of Educational Computing Research Volume 37, Number 2, ISSN 0735-6331
In this investigation, the use of the Alice programming language in an introductory computing class was studied from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Students in an introductory computing class participated in a 2.5-week unit to learn programming through the graphical programming environment of Alice. Quantitatively, students were surveyed before and after their Alice experience. One hundred and fifty-four students completed a short questionnaire about their enjoyment and confidence with computer programming along with a content test about their understanding of computer programming concepts. After the students completed a short tutorial on Alice and completed two short programming exercises, they completed the same questionnaire and content test. Qualitatively, three focus groups were held and students were asked to comment on their experience. Students were also required to write an essay requiring them to reflect on their Alice experiences. Data from student reflective essays were coded and analyzed. Both the t-tests of the pre- and post-test survey data and the analysis of student essays show that students show significant increases in enjoyment of programming, confidence in programming, and understanding of programming concepts. Focus group comments provide additional insight to these findings. (Contains 1 figure and 4 tables.)
Bishop-Clark, C., Courte, J., Evans, D. & Howard, E.V. (2007). A Quantitative and Qualitative Investigation of Using Alice Programming to Improve Confidence, Enjoyment and Achievement among Non-Majors. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 37(2), 193-207.