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ERIC Number: EJ848651
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1547-9714
Ways of Experiencing the Act of Learning to Program: A Phenomenographic Study of Introductory Programming Students at University
Bruce, Christine; Buckingham, Lawrence; Hynd, John; McMahon, Camille; Roggenkamp, Mike; Stoodley, Ian
Journal of Information Technology Education, v3 p143-160 2004
The research reported here investigates variation in first year university students' early experiences of learning to program, with a particular focus on revealing differences in how they go about learning to program. A phenomenographic research approach was used to reveal variation in how the act of learning to program may be constituted amongst first year university students. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with students who had either recently completed, or were enrolled in, a university-level introductory programming subject. Analysis revealed that students might go about learning to program in any of five different ways: by (1) Following--where learning to program is experienced as "getting through" the unit, (2) Coding--where learning to program is experienced as learning to code, (3) Understanding and integrating--where learning to program is experienced as learning to write a program through understanding and integrating concepts, (4) Problem solving--where learning to program is experienced as learning to do what it takes to solve a problem, and (5) Participating or enculturation--where learning to program is experienced as discovering what it means to become a programmer. The relationships between these different approaches to learning are represented diagrammatically. The mapping of the variation constitutes a framework within which one aspect of the teaching and learning of introductory programming, how students go about it, may be understood. Implications for teaching and learning in introductory university curricula are discussed. They include the following points: 1) What are the critical ways in which we want students to experience learning to program in our subjects or units or instruction, or at particular points in courses? (2) What are the implications, for students, of certain ways of experiencing the act of learning to program? 3) How can curriculum support ways of going about learning? (4) How can we help students move to more sophisticated ways of learning? 5) How can we further use the outcomes to help our students learn? (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A