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Improving the mental models held by novice programmers using cognitive conflict and jeliot visualisations

Ma, L. and Ferguson, J. D. and Roper, M. and Ross, I. and Wood, M. (2009) Improving the mental models held by novice programmers using cognitive conflict and jeliot visualisations. [Proceedings Paper]

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Abstract

Recent research has found that many novice programmers often hold non-viable mental models of basic programming concepts which can limit their potential to develop appropriate programming skills. Previous work by the authors suggests that a teaching model that integrates cognitive conflict and program visualisation can help novices formulate appropriate mental models. This paper first outlines a 'concepts roadmap' that provides an ordered approach to learning programming concepts allowing students to build on fundamental base knowledge. It then reports the results of a series of studies investigating the use of the Jeliot visualisation tool as the visualisation component of the proposed learning model when applied to these concepts. The findings include: the ease with which Jeliot can be tailored to visualise a range of concepts using a variety of examples; the Jeliot visualisation of object reference was too complex for CS1 students; further evidence that CS1 students struggle to develop appropriate understanding of a range of key programming concepts; and, further evidence that an integrated cognitive conflict/visualisation strategy can help students develop an appropriate understanding of key programming concepts.

Item type: Proceedings Paper
ID code: 42242
Keywords: improving, mental models, novice programmers , cognitive conflict, jeliot visualisations, cs1, Electronic computers. Computer science
Subjects: Science > Mathematics > Electronic computers. Computer science
Department: Faculty of Science > Computer and Information Sciences
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Pure Administrator
    Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2012 15:32
    Last modified: 17 Sep 2013 07:18
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/42242

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