Naturally occurring data as research instrument: analyzing examination responses to study the novice programmer


In New Zealand and Australia, the BRACElet project has been investigating students' acquisition of programming skills in introductory programming courses. The project has explored students' skills in basic syntax, tracing code, understanding code, and writing code, seeking to establish the relationships between these skills. This ITiCSE working group report presents the most recent step in the BRACElet project, which includes replication of earlier analysis using a far broader pool of naturally occurring data, refinement of the SOLO taxonomy in code-explaining questions, extension of the taxonomy to code-writing questions, extension of some earlier studies on students' 'doodling' while answering exam questions, and exploration of a further theoretical basis for work that until now has been primarily empirical.

DOI: 10.1145/1709424.1709460

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