Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Computers in Education
This full research paper builds on our previous research that showed evidence that using peer code reviews (PCR) can help students improve their programming skills in an introductory programming class. The results from the initial study showed that while PCR is useful for helping students understand difficult CS1 topics, students often overlooked errors and lacked the ability to retain information about common errors. This paper focuses on developing a guided PCR technique that students can utilize as part of code reviews (to find errors) as well as during code development (to avoid making those errors). Motivated by the previous findings, this research developed and empirically validated the usefulness of a guided (checklist) PCR technique in a CS2 classroom. The PCR technique included a checklist of steps that students were asked to follow in order to systematically check for programming errors when reading parts of the program source code. To evaluate the guided PCR technique, two runs of an experiment were conducted over the course of four weeks in one CS2 classroom. The researchers in consultation with the course instructor developed four pieces of code for error abstraction, with each piece of code becoming progressively more difficult, both in terms of programming concepts covered and the number of SLOC. In each piece of code, five categories of errors were seeded with an average of 20 errors in total; at least one error belonging to each category was seeded in each piece of code. The seeding of errors was done with input from instructors who have identified major errors committed by students in the CS2 programming course at XXX. During each week, students were given a piece of code covering a specific topic and were asked to review and find errors in the code using the checklist. Students would then record their errors using an error reporting sheet. Following each guided PCR session, students were asked to reflect on their review results, discuss errors, and ways to avoid them when developing their own programs. We analyzed data gathered from the guided PCR sessions, reflection sessions post PCR, and a feedback survey conducted at the end of the study. The results of the guided PCR session provide insights into the most and least reported errors. We also found evidence of improvement in students’ understanding of specific topic areas in programming as a result of using this technique. We performed a correlation analysis between the total number of category errors reported per topic during guided PCR and the students’ performance on assignments covering specific topics. Based on the results, students who are able to find more errors during the guided PCR session on a particular topic are able to score better on their lab assignments that covered the same topic.
Brown, T., & Walia, G. S., & Radermacher, A. D., & Singh, M., & Narasareddygari, M. R. (2020, June), Effectiveness of Using Guided Peer Code Review to Support Learning of Programming Concepts in a CS2 Course: A Pilot Study Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34504
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015