Flexible low-cost activities to develop novice code comprehension skills in schools
Peter Donaldson, Quintin I. Cutts
The lack of code comprehension skills in novice programming students is recognised as a major factor underpinning poor learning outcomes. We use Schulte's Block Model to support teachers' understanding of how to break the skill down into component parts that are more manageable for a learner. This analysis is operationalised in three code annotation-based learning/assessment exercise formats, two helping students to identify and describe programming concepts and the third enabling them to parse code correctly and carry out desk executions. A great benefit of the activities is that they are low cost and can be applied to any imperative style code and so can be easily adopted by schools anywhere; furthermore, they are active, not passive, an issue with some animation-based visualisation approaches. The exercise formats were included as part of a national schools computing science professional learning programme (PLAN C).
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|Mordechai Ben-Ari, Sarah Blanchard, Richard E. Clark, Kathryn Cunningham, Barbara Ericson, Colin J. Fidge, Mark Guzdial, Paul A. Kirschner, Andrew J. Ko, Raymond Lister, Mike Lopez, Greg L. Nelson, Phil Robbins, John Sweller, Donna Teague, Jacqueline L. Whalley, Benjamin Xie|
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