ERIC Number: ED308071
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Use of Variables: Algebra-Computer-English Translation.
McCoy, Leah P.
Results of empirical research relating computer programming instruction and understanding of the concept of mathematical variables is unclear. While some studies have found a positive relationship, others have reported nonsignificant results. The purpose of this study was to investigate high school students' (n=36) understanding of the concept of variable in computer programming and in algebraic context. High school juniors at a large private high school who had completed Algebra I and a computer literacy course were given the Algebra-Computer-English (ACE) Translation Test. The results of this study indicate that high school students with experience in both algebra and computer programming could work with variables in a computer context better than in an algebraic context. When given parallel items in both a computer program and algebraic context, their correct responses were not uniformly distributed. They were better able to translate to English the variables in the computer program than in the algebraic equation. A list of 30 references is included. An appendix includes the ACE Translation Test. (DC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Association for Computing in Education Conference (San Francisco, CA, March, 1989).