Experience Report: Identifying Unexpected Programming Misconceptions with a Computer Systems Approach

Johnson, F., O'Donnell, J. , McQuistin, S. and Cutts, Q. (2022) Experience Report: Identifying Unexpected Programming Misconceptions with a Computer Systems Approach. In: 27th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), Dublin, Ireland, 08-13 July 2022, pp. 325-330. ISBN 9781450392013 (doi: 10.1145/3502718.3524775)

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Abstract

An increasing number of students arrive at university with programming experience and pre-formed mental models. These models are often incorrect, with students holding entrenched misconceptions. In this paper, we describe a study that investigated whether making explicit connections between our introductory Python programming and computing systems courses could expose mental models and help identify and fix misconceptions. We hypothesised that students would develop a correct mental model by creating a low level systems implementation of a high level program. While we identified misconceptions, these prevented the students from making explicit links and correcting their mental models. We detail these misconceptions, develop a set of hypotheses for why these were held, and suggest future studies.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cutts, Professor Quintin and McQuistin, Dr Stephen and Johnson, Mrs Fionnuala and O'Donnell, Dr John
Authors: Johnson, F., O'Donnell, J., McQuistin, S., and Cutts, Q.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
ISBN:9781450392013
Published Online:07 July 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Association for Computing Machinery
First Published:First published in ITiCSE '22: Proceedings of the 27th ACM Conference on on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Vol. 1: 325-330
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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