PPIG 2006 - 18th Annual Workshop
Subsetability as a New Cognitive Dimension?
Robert M. Dondero Jr., Susan Wiedenbeck
Abstract: Subsetability is the ability to decompose programming languages and environments into a hierarchy of subsets, each of which can be used by stu-dents to create complete, meaningful computer programs. This paper argues that a programming language/environment's subsetability positively affects its learnability and teachability. The argument is supported by citing relevant theo-retical research, little of which is grounded in empirical studies. Then the paper goes on to argue that subsetability may be a new "cognitive dimension of nota-tional systems," as defined by Green and Blackwell. It does so by analyzing subsetability in terms of Blackwell's criteria for dealing with new cognitive di-mensions.