Novice difficulties with interleaved pattern composition

David Ginat, Eti Menashe, Amal Taya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Design patterns are essential building blocks of computer programs. In the design of programs, patterns are selected and composed together. Pattern compositions may be of various kinds, among them: concatenation, inclusion (of one pattern in another), and interleaving (of two or more patterns). Pattern interleaving is the subtler composition. Yet, it is already required in early programming (e.g., the number of appearances of the max in a list, which requires the interleaving of counting and max computation). In this paper, we illuminate novices' struggle with interleaved compositions. We present an empirical study of high-school CS students, which reveals several kinds of novice difficulties, including: "bypassing" of interleaved composition by concatenation, improper application of patterns, and design of malformed interleaved structures. We offer some didactic suggestions to teachers for coping with these difficulties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformatics in Schools
Subtitle of host publicationSustainable Informatics Education for Pupils of all Ages - 6th International Conference on Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution, and Perspectives, ISSEP 2013, Proc.
Pages57-67
Number of pages11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Event6th International Conference on Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution, and Perspectives, ISSEP 2013 - Oldenburg, Germany
Duration: 26 Feb 20132 Mar 2013

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7780 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference6th International Conference on Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution, and Perspectives, ISSEP 2013
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityOldenburg
Period26/02/132/03/13

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