For some time now I've been trying to understand what goes on when people learn a first programming language. In particular, why do introductory programming courses (like COMP103 / COMP160) tend to have high fail rates and also high "A" rates - the opposite of a normal distribution of grades? I think I've finally made some progress on this question. With the help of a population of virtual students (random number generators) I will propose a different kind of explanation for the programming grade distribution. If I convince you, there are implications for how we could teach programming - unfortunately most of them are horrendous. I expect that the presentation part of this seminar will be on the short side, I hope there will be some discussion.
Last modified: Wednesday, 20-May-2009 15:05:01 NZST
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