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ERIC Number: EJ810218
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-0899-3408
Optimists Have More Fun, but Do They Learn Better? On the Influence of Emotional and Social Factors on Learning Introductory Computer Science
Bennedsen, Jens; Caspersen, Michael E.
Computer Science Education, v18 n1 p1-16 Mar 2008
In order to better understand predictors of success and, when possible, improve the design of the first year computer science courses at university to increase the likelihood of success, we study a number of factors that may potentially indicate students' computer science aptitude. Based on findings in general education, we have studied the influence of emotional and social factors on students' learning outcomes in introductory computer science courses. Emotional health and social well-being have been measured in terms of five variables: perfectionism, self-esteem, coping tactics, affective states and optimism. Surprisingly, we found no correlation between emotional health and social well-being on the one hand and success in computer science as indicated by course grades on the other. However, in most of the courses, the students who pass have a statistically significant higher self-esteem than those who do not. Our hypothesis was that there would be a positive correlation between emotional and social factors and success in computer science as indicated by the course grade, since others have found the variables perfectionism, self-esteem and affective states to be predictors of success. We identify potential explanations for this seeming contradiction. (Contains 2 notes, 7 tables, and 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark