June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Software Engineering Constituent Committee
22.1490.1 - 22.1490.18
The Programming Performance Prophecies: Predicting Student Achievement in a First-Year Introductory Programming CourseAbstractEnsuring student success in first-year introductory programming courses presents a uniquechallenge when considering the diversity of student educational backgrounds. Some studentsenter college having programmed for several years, while others have had little to no exposure tobasic programming concepts. In addition, students frequently possess a wide range of skills inareas of study that are related to programming. When students with widely differing skill setsare enrolled in the same introductory programming course, a competency imbalance isimmediately established that negatively impacts the course and leads to high attrition ratesamong students with less experience.In order to create a more equitable experience and to ensure that students are placed in a coursewhose difficulty is commensurate with their abilities, we present a methodology to predictstudent performance in first-year introductory programming courses. Our technique requires thatall students take an online survey at the beginning of the term consisting of a variety ofalgorithmic and logic-based multiple choice questions that are not tied to a specific programminglanguage. From a sample of over 600 students, we show a significant correlation between theperformance on our survey and overall course performance, thereby giving us the ability toproperly accommodate students based upon our expectation of their performance in the courseand to minimize any potential imbalances that may occur.
Ringenberg, J., & Lapp, M., & Bansal, A., & Shah, P. (2011, June), The Programming Performance Prophecies: Predicting Student Achievement in a First-Year Introductory Programming Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18930
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