ERIC Number: ED238406
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug-29
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Instructional Procedures on Beginning Programmers' Mental Models.
Because previous research by Bayman and Mayer (1983) suggests that individuals who attempt to learn their first computer language develop a variety of misconceptions of the meanings of individual programming statements, this study investigated whether it is possible to enhance beginning programmers' understanding of the programming statements through instructions, and whether individuals'"mental models"--conceptions of what happens inside the computer when a statement is executed--are important for their success in solving programming problems. Subjects were 95 undergraduates unfamiliar with computer programming who studied BASIC using either a standard BASIC manual (Standard Group) or manuals containing procedural and/or pictorial information on the internal workings of the computer (Conceptual Groups). The results showed that individuals with lower mathematics aptitude benefitted from the nonstandard information in their manuals and generated more accurate conceptions of the BASIC statements. Their conceptions of the programming statements seem to have influenced their programming performance as well. Eleven references are listed. (Author/LMM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: BASIC Programing Language; Mathematical Aptitude
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 29, 1983). For a related document, see IR 010 916.