PPIG 2017 - 28th Annual Workshop
The role of the cognitive style in improving the learning to program
Margherita Pasini, Ugo Solitro, Margherita Brondino, Daniela Raccanello
Abstract: Nowadays informatics is a part of most university curricula. In particular, in scientific and technological studies, a course in computer programming is often proposed in the first years. Nevertheless learning a programming language and solving problems in an algorithmic way is a hard task for many students. To reduce students difficulties and improve their performance, we think that is necessary to achieve a better comprehension of the cognitive processes involved. In this study, we analyse the relationship between cognitive styles, inside the theoretical framework of the empathizing–systemizing (E–S) theory, and performance in a sample of 46 students attending a course of programming in a Applied Mathematics bachelor. In line with the literature, women showed a higher level of empathy than men. However, no differences in performance were found between male and female students, even if for female students a higher level of systematizing quotients was related with a higher performance.