ERIC Number: ED207592
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Psychology of Computer Programming for Novices. Series in Learning and Cognition. Report No. 81-2.
Mayer, Richard E.
This review of ideas from cognitive and educational psychology that are related to the problem of how to teach non-programmers to use computers explores two techniques. The first one discussed is the effects of concrete models on people's understanding and learning of new technical information such as computer programming. Research results provide evidence that a concrete model can have a strong effect on the encoding and use of new technical information by novices. The second technique for increasing the meaningfulness of technical information was elaboration or encouraging the learner to explain the information in his or her own words, and to relate the material to other ideas or concepts. Research findings reveal that, although there is no fool-proof way to design useful elaboration activities, learners should be able to describe the effects of each program statement in his own words. The issue of what to teach to enhance a novice's understanding of computer programming is also discussed in terms of knowledge for understanding a statement and a program. A bibliography of 68 items and a list of 16 titles in this technical report series are provided. (CHC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Santa Barbara.