PPIG 2006 - 18th Annual Workshop
Testing Programming Aptitude
Saeed Dehnadi
Abstract: An initial cognitive study of early learning of programming aimed to extract experimental test data to establish novices’ understanding process has been carried out by us [1]. This empirical study was inspired by the notion that different people bring different patterns of knowledge in any new learning process, and demonstrated that how each student tackles the problem in a different way based on their mental model. The initial study suggests that success in the first stage of an introductory programming course is predictable, by noting consistency in use of the mental models which students apply to a basic programming problem even before they have had any contact with programming notation, but the consistency/inconsistency measurement was somewhat subjective. In this paper I present an objective marking method which hope will lead us to more precise and more finely-graduated predictions. This method is being trialed in at least one experiment, and we hope that by the time of the conference I will be able to describe the results.