PPIG 2010 - 22nd Annual Workshop
Characterizing Comprehension of Concurrency Concepts
Zhen Li, Zhe Zhao, Eileen Kraemer
Abstract: A comprehensive understanding of students' common difficulties in understanding synchronization and concurrency is a prerequisite for developing tools and educational materials to alleviate these difficulties. In this paper we briefly present a study through which we identified students’ misconceptions about concurrency and synchronization, categorized their misunderstandings into a misconception pyramid, and built subject profiles through which we were able to discover the nature and frequency of the misconceptions exhibited by the students in this study. Based on these findings, we developed metrics to capture the breadth and severity of individual subject's misconceptions. We describe these metrics and show how they correlate with other measurements of understanding of concurrency and synchronization.