Programming Patterns as Potential Predictors of Student Success

Kerr, Oliver orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7531-3659 and Danino, Nicky orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7662-9188 (2017) Programming Patterns as Potential Predictors of Student Success. In: World Congress on Education (WCE-2017), July 17-19, 2017, Dublin, Ireland.

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The fundamental concepts of programming are essential to any Computer Science course yet, these concepts can appear significantly more abstract than students have encountered in the past. These abstract concepts can become so daunting to students, that they experience ‘programming shock’ during their first encounter with programming, as they attempt to decipher a number of concepts, error messages and unfamiliar syntax all at once. Once a student encounters programming shock, it can be extremely disheartening and if not overcome, can sometimes result in a student dropping out from a course. Through the use of specifically designed aptitude tests conducted with first year Computing students, this investigation has provided sufficient evidence to prove a link between mental model usage and performance, specifically, how the use of appropriate mental models is a potential predictor of student success within an introductory programming module.

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