Kate Sanders

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A study by a ITiCSE 2001 working group ("the McCracken Group") established that many students do not know how to program at the conclusion of their introductory courses. A popular explanation for this incapacity is that the students lack the ability to problem-solve. That is, they lack the ability to take a problem description, decompose it into(More)
BACKGROUND Phyto-oestrogens are a group of naturally occurring chemicals derived from plants; they have a structure similar to oestrogen, and form part of our diet. They also have potentially anticarcinogenic biological activity. We did a case-control study to assess the association between phyto-oestrogen intake (as measured by urinary excretion) and the(More)
In this paper, we begin by considering object-oriented programming concepts and typical novice misconceptions as identified in the literature. We then present the results of a close examination of student programs, in an objects-first CS1 course, in which we find concrete evidence of students learning these concepts while also displaying some of these(More)
Yes, and Yes.We are currently undertaking an pirical investigation of "Threshold Concepts" in Computer Science, with input from both instructors and students. We have found good pirical evidence that at least two concepts---Object-oriented programming and pointers--are Threshold Concepts, and that there are potentially many more others.In this paper, we(More)
We examine students' commonsense understanding of computer science concepts before they receive any formal instruction in the field. Specifically, we asked students on the first day of a CS1 class to describe in English how they would arrange a set of numbers in ascending, sorted order. We repeated the experiment with students in an introductory economics(More)
We examine students' commonsense understanding of computer science concepts before they receive any formal instruction in the field. For this study, we asked students on the first day of a CS1 class to describe in English how they would arrange a set of numbers in ascending, sorted order; we then repeated the experiment asking students to sort a list of(More)
Is there consensus on what students should learn in CS2? Should they learn to use data structures, understand their specific implementation details, or both? Finally, has the computing education community's answer to the second question changed over time? In this paper, we begin to explore these questions based on an analysis of a key artifact instructors(More)
In this paper, we present the results of an experiment in which we sought to elicit students' understanding of object-oriented (OO) concepts using concept maps. Our analysis confirmed earlier research indicating that students do not have a firm grasp on the distinction between "class" and "instance." Unlike earlier research, we found that our students(More)
This paper describes Threshold Concepts, a theory of learning that distinguishes core concepts whose characteristics can make them troublesome in learning. With an eye to applying this theory in computer science, we consider this notion in the context of related topics in computer science education.
In March 2004, SIGCSE members contributed to a mailing list discussion on the question of whether programming should be taught objects first or imperative first. We analyse that discussion, exploring how the CS community debates the issue and whether contributors' positions are supported by the research literature on novice programmers. We applied four(More)