Identifying Student Misconceptions of Programming

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Every 1st Thursday of the month

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Identifying Student Misconceptions of Programming, by Lisa Kaczmarczyk et al. 2010.

Presented by Lisa Kaczmarczyk

We are fortunate to have this paper presented by the first author. In addition, this paper was just awarded "Top Ranked Symposium Paper of All Time" by ACM SIGCSE

Abstract: Computing educators are often baffled by the misconceptions that their CS1 students hold. We need to understand these misconceptions more clearly in order to help students form correct conceptions. This paper describes one stage in the development of a concept inventory for Computing Fundamentals: investigation of student misconceptions in a series of core CS1 topics previously identified as both important and difficult. Formal interviews with students revealed four distinct themes, each containing many interesting misconceptions. Three of those misconceptions are detailed in this paper: two misconceptions about memory models, and data assignment when primitives are declared. Individual misconceptions are related, but vary widely, thus providing excellent material to use in the development of the CI. In addition, CS1 instructors are provided immediate usable material for helping their students understand some difficult introductory concepts.

Street parking on 6th, 7th & 8th Avenues north of B Street is usually easy at that hour. Meters nearby are free after 6. Read signage before you park on A street.

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