ERIC Number: ED350981
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Cognitive Transfer of Computer Programming Skills and Analogous Problem Solving.
This study investigated the cognitive benefits of learning how to program by determining the degree of cognitive transfer of programming skills at a construct level to solving analogous problems in other domains. Subjects, who were students enrolled in four sections of the beginning Pascal programming course and two sections of a calculus course, were assigned to the experimental group or one of two control groups. For both the experimental group (n=42) and the first control group (n=51), the programming course consisted of 150 minutes of lecture and 150 minutes of laboratory per week. Both groups were given instruction in programming and in the language Pascal through lectures and laboratory activities lasting 6 weeks and 4 weeks respectively. Only the experimental group was taught loop and nested loop constructs and the corresponding Pascal codes whose outputs embodied the combination and intersection schema of Piaget. The second control group (n=38) was given instruction in calculus consisting of 200 minutes of lectures per week for 7 weeks. Results showed significant effects of learning the nested loop construct on solving analogous problems in other domains. By using a tracer, the degree of learning of the nested loop construct was positively related to the degree of transfer. Students who scored higher on the achievement test, which was used in determining understanding and mastery of the nested loop construct, scored higher on the transfer posttest than those who scored lower on the achievement test. Students who learned the nested loop construct and who did not perform well on the transfer posttest showed significant improvement after a hint was given. (Contains 7 tables and 32 references.) (Author/ALF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Nested Loops; PASCAL Programing Language
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, April 20-24, 1992).