Understanding the Experience of Learning to Program

The following projects are designed to explore the experience of learning to program.

Undergraduate Students

Understanding Students’ Experiences of Learning to Program, investigating variation in first year university students’ early experiences of learning to program, focussed particularly on revealing differences in experience of early programmers. The analysis process revealed five different ways in which students go about learning to program in introductory university level units. These are portrayed in categories of description which capture the critical dimensions of what students learn as well as how they go about learning.

For a synopsis of the research findings, see this letter thanking the interviewees for their involvement.

Outputs

Bruce, C. and McMahon, C. (2002) Contemporary Developments in Teaching and Learning Introductory Programming: Towards a Research Proposal. QUT Faculty of Information Technology Teaching and Learning Report 2002 – 2.

Bruce, C., McMahon, C., Buckingham, L., Hynd, J. and Roggenkamp, M. (2003) Ways of experiencing the act of learning to program: A phenomenographic study of introductory programming students at university. Final Report. QUT.

Bruce, C., Buckingham, L., Hynd, J., McMahon, C., Roggenkamp, M. and Stoodley, I. (2004) Ways of Experiencing the Act of Learning to Program: A Phenomenographic Study of Introductory Programming Students at University Journal of IT Education, 3, 143-160. [Awarded the Communication of Research Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association Annual Award for the Best Education Research Article in an Open Access Journal, 2004]

Bruce, C., Buckingham, L., Hynd, J., McMahon, C., Roggenkamp, M. & Stoodley, I. (2006). Ways of Experiencing the Act of Learning to Program: A Phenomenographic Study of Introductory Programming Students at University. In Bruce, C.S., Mohay, G., Smith, G., Stoodley, I., & Tweedale, R. (Eds.). Transforming IT education: Promoting a culture of excellence. Santa Rosa, California: Informing Science Press, pp. 301-325.

Research team

Christine Bruce
Camille McMahon
Lawrence Buckingham
John Hynd
Mike Roggenkamp

Funding

QUT Faculty of Information Technology

Masters Conversion Students

Understanding Masters Conversion Students’ Experiences of Learning to Program investigated the experiences of a range of students who had undertaken the unit ITN410 “Software Principles”. The aim was to capture the breadth of experience of students in tackling the task of learning to program at a more advanced level than undergraduate students.

Outputs

Stoodley, I., Christie, R., and Bruce, C. (2004) Conversion Masters students’ experiences of learning to program: an empirical model. QUALIT 2004 Griffith University Brisbane, Nov 2004. Handout distributed at the QUALIT 2004 presentation.

Stoodley, I., Christie, R. and Bruce, C. (2006) An Empirical Model of Masters Students’ Experiences of Learning to Program. In Bruce, C.S., Mohay, G., Smith, G., Stoodley, I., & Tweedale, R. (Eds.). Transforming IT education: Promoting a culture of excellence. Santa Rosa, California: Informing Science Press, pp. 327-349.

Survey tools to help determine students’ ways of seeing programming and learning to program.

Research team

Christine Bruce
Ian Stoodley
Camille McMahon
Ruth Christie
Yue Xu

Funding

QUT Faculty of Information Technology