1. Briana Morrison
  2. http://www.brianamorrison.net
  3. Assistant Professor
  5. University of Nebraska at Omaha
  1. Adrienne Decker
  2. http://engineering.buffalo.edu/engineering-education/people/directory/decker-adrienne.html
  4. University at Buffalo SUNY
  1. Lauren Margulieux
  2. http://laurenmarg.com
  3. Assistant Professor
  5. Georgia State University

Collaborative Research: Developing and Assessing Subgoal Labels for Imperativ...

NSF Awards: 1712231

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12, Undergraduate

The trend is clear: programming is the skill to learn, but too few students pass introductory programming courses. How introductory programming is taught needs to be improved if we wish to achieve the goals of Computer Science for All and offer CS to everyone. The goal of this project is to expand the use of subgoal labels throughout the introductory computing course and test its effectiveness on student learning.

In this project we incorporate instructional techniques identified in educational psychology to improve learning in the introductory programming course leading to higher retention of students. Given the evidence that using worked examples with subgoal labels improves student learning in other STEM fields, we developed worked examples that incorporate the use of subgoal labels for all of the main programming concepts within an imperative programming language taught in an introductory programming course.

In the upcoming final year of the project there will be a large-scale deployment of the materials to assess the effect of instructional materials on student learning at different types of institutions. By incorporating the use of learning programming with subgoal labels, we anticipate improved student learning and retention of students within the course. By providing students with the tools needed to overcome initial problem-solving challenges, it is anticipated that not only will students learn more, they will also have greater early success learning foundational programming concepts, leading to retention within the discipline and a more positive computing experience.

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