The Novice Programmers' Syndrome of Design-by-Keyword

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

Abstract

In the course of reading the description of a given assignment, it is natural that associations with design patterns directly tied to explicit keywords or phrases in the assignment text will evolve. However, explicit keywords may not always be the basis for the desired solution. Implicit cues may yield a better outcome. This paper presents a study of novice programmers who are misguided by explicit keyword associations. The study shows that students' tendency to "design-by-keyword" may sometime lead them to incorrect or inefficient programming solutions. The study displays student solutions to three CS1 problems, each answered in three different ways. The first two ways reflect undesirable "design-by-keyword" outcomes, and the third way encloses the desired solution, which demonstrates the importance of looking for implicit cues.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2003)
EditorsD. Finkel
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages154-157
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)1581136722, 9781581136722
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003
EventProceedings of the 8th Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2003) - Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 30 Jun 20032 Jul 2003

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiSCE)
Volume8

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the 8th Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2003)
Country/TerritoryGreece
CityThessaloniki
Period30/06/032/07/03

Keywords

  • Pedagogy
  • Program Design
  • Student Errors

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