This working group asserts that Program Comprehension (ProgComp) plays a critical part in the process of writing programs. For example, this paper is written from a basic draft that was edited and revised until it clearly presented our idea. Similarly, a program is written incrementally, with each step tested, debugged and extended until the program achieves its goal. Novice programmers should develop program comprehension skills as they learn to code so that they are able both to read and reason about code created by others, and to reflect on their code when writing, debugging or extending it. To foster such competencies our group identified two main goals: (g1) to collect and define learning activities that explicitly address key components of program comprehension and (g2) to define tentative theoretical learning trajectories that will guide teachers as they select and sequence those learning activities in their CS0/CS1/CS2 or K-12 courses. The WG has completed the first goal and laid down a strong foundation towards the second goal as presented in this report. After a thorough literature review, a detailed description of the Block Model is provided, as this model has been used with a dual purpose, to classify and present an extensive list of ProgComp tasks, and to describe a possible learning trajectory for a complex task, covering different cells of the Block Model matrix. The latter is intended to help instructors to decompose complex tasks and identify which aspects of ProgComp are being fostered.

Fostering Program Comprehension in Novice Programmers - Learning Activities and Learning Trajectories

Lonati, Violetta;Mirolo, Claudio;
2019-01-01

Abstract

This working group asserts that Program Comprehension (ProgComp) plays a critical part in the process of writing programs. For example, this paper is written from a basic draft that was edited and revised until it clearly presented our idea. Similarly, a program is written incrementally, with each step tested, debugged and extended until the program achieves its goal. Novice programmers should develop program comprehension skills as they learn to code so that they are able both to read and reason about code created by others, and to reflect on their code when writing, debugging or extending it. To foster such competencies our group identified two main goals: (g1) to collect and define learning activities that explicitly address key components of program comprehension and (g2) to define tentative theoretical learning trajectories that will guide teachers as they select and sequence those learning activities in their CS0/CS1/CS2 or K-12 courses. The WG has completed the first goal and laid down a strong foundation towards the second goal as presented in this report. After a thorough literature review, a detailed description of the Block Model is provided, as this model has been used with a dual purpose, to classify and present an extensive list of ProgComp tasks, and to describe a possible learning trajectory for a complex task, covering different cells of the Block Model matrix. The latter is intended to help instructors to decompose complex tasks and identify which aspects of ProgComp are being fostered.
2019
9781450368957
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1173752
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