Effective Methods for Teaching and Assessing Business Applications Programming at Introductory Level


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  • Jenkins source: http://www.ics.heacademy.ac.uk/Events/conf2001/papers/Jenkins%20paper.pdfMuratet et al: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijcgt/2009/470590/IEEE source: ACM/IEEE-Curriculum 2005 Task Force, Computing Curricula 2005, The Overview Report, IEEE Computer Society Press Kinnunen: http://delivery.acm.org/10.1145/1160000/1151604/p97-kinnunen.pdf?ip= %20SERVICE&CFID=211918093&CFTOKEN=45109093&__acm__=1353968463_8f814967945eef2f20d31db9c254a139
  • Linn and Clancy: Available at http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=131301 Rogalski & Samurcay, 1990, p. 170:Acquiring and developing knowledge about programming is a highly complex process. It involves a variety of cognitive activities, and mental representations related to program design, program understanding, modifying, debugging (and documenting). Even at the level of computer literacy, it requires construction of conceptual knowledge, and the structuring of basic operations (such as loops, conditional statements, etc.) into schemas and plans. It requires developing strategies flexible enough to derive benefits from programming aids (programming environment, programming methods).Du Boulay (1989) describes five overlapping domains and potential sources of difficulty that must be mastered. These are: (1) general orientation, what programs are for and what can be done with them; (2) the notional machine, a model of the computer as it relates to executing programs; (3) notation, the syntax and semantics of a particular programming language; (4) structures, that is, schemas/plans as discussed above; (5) pragmatics, that is, the skills of planning, developing, testing, debugging, and so on.Robins et al 2003: “a CS1 course should be realistic in its expectations and systematic in its development”
  • Biggs: Biggs, John. Teaching for Quality Learning at University. OUP / SRHE, 1999. Formula is from Biggs Jenkins: http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/people/staff/saf/dc/portfolios/tony/doc/other/motivation.pdfRountree et al (2002): the most reliable predictor of success was the grade that the student expected to achieveAttitudes to mistakes and errors: stoppers and movers (cf. Perkins 1989)
  • On problem based learning: In the future, explicit naming and teaching of basic schemata may become part of computer programming curricula: (Mayer, 1989, p. 156). Also “Deek et al. (1998) describe a first year computer science course based on a problem solving model, where language features are introduced only in the context of the students’ solutions to specific problems. In this environment students in the problem solving stream generally rated their own abilities and confidence slightly more highly than did students in the control stream (receiving traditional instruction). Students in the problem solving stream also achieved a significantly better grade for the course (with e.g. an increase from 5% to over 25% of the students attaining ‘‘A’’ grades)”. “students who are encouraged to actively engage and explore programming related information performed better at problem solving and creative transfer” Robins 2003   Duke et al., 2000: Cited in Costelloe, 2004Costelloe: https://www.scss.tcd.ie/disciplines/information_systems/crite/crite_web/publications/sources/programmingv1.pdfHorizon 2012: http://www.fdi.vt.edu/online-resources/2012-Horizon-Report.pdfBloom, 1956: cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom's_TaxonomySoloway and Spoher (1989) are cited in Robin (2003) Ramsden (2002): Ramsden, P. (1992). Learning to teach in higher education. London: Routledge
  • Effective Methods for Teaching and Assessing Business Applications Programming at Introductory Level

    1. 1. Dr Niamh O RiordanWhitaker Institute J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway Wednesday, 28th November, 2012
    2. 2. “The graduating student who professes a completeinability to write a simple program is commonplace”(Jenkins, 2001)„„One wonders [...] about teaching sophisticated material toCS1students when study after study has shown that they donot understand basic loops…‟‟ (Winslow,1996, p. 21).“Many institutes report drop out rates of 20-40percents, or even higher, of students on their introductoryprogramming courses” (Kinnunen and Malbi, 2006)“Colleges and universities routinely report that 50% or moreof those students who initially choose computer science studysoon decide to abandon it” (ACM/IEEE)
    3. 3.  Motivation: Useful and in demand Challenge: Not „sexy‟ and quite difficult Principle: Content EFFECTIVE METHODS FIT! Student Teacher Scope: First year undergraduate students already enrolled in their first Business Application Programming (BAP) course, which combines lectures and tutorials and is based on Java
    4. 4. Not exactly a piece of cake!“For programmers to develop competence, theyneed to have good problem solving skills and athoroughly organised knowledge of theprogramming language” (Linn and Clancy, 1992)[cf. on the cruelty of really teaching computer scienceDijkstra (1989)]The goal:To move from schemas to scripts andfrom comprehension to generation
    5. 5. Not always a help…- Blames the student- Blames the method- Misses the point(Biggs, 1992)“A teacher‟s job is not to communicate the minutiae of syntaxor the nuances of some particular language, but to persuadethe students that learning to program (and so programming) would be a good thing” (Jenkins, 2001)The goal:From transmission mode to Mr. Motivator Motivation = Expectancy x Value
    6. 6. Not always so self-assured!“You have to believe in yourself, thats the secret… I had to feel theexuberance that comes from utter confidence in yourself. Without it,you go down to defeat” – Charlie ChaplinThe goal:To embolden the student
    7. 7. Niamh O Riordanniamh.oriordan@nuigalway.ie