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Teaching programming concepts to high school students with Alice

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5 Author(s)
Ting-Chung Wang ; Taipei Municipal Jianguo High Sch., Taipei, Taiwan ; Wen-Hui Mei ; Shu-Ling Lin ; Sheng-Kuang Chiu
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A quasi-experiment was conducted in this research to investigate the feasibility of using Alice in teaching high school students programming concepts. The subjects were 166 10th-grade students from four intact classes. Alice was taught to two randomly selected classes, and the other two classes were taught C++, both for 8 weeks. The programming constructs students learned included variables, arithmetic expressions, selection structures, repetition structures and built-in functions. An analysis of students' test scores revealed that the Alice group performed significantly better than the C++ group, indicating that Alice seemed to be more effective in facilitating students' comprehension of fundamental programming concepts. Results of questionnaire surveys did not show any significant difference between the two groups in students' motivation toward learning computer programming or their overall learning experience, suggesting that the participating students seemed to have received the two languages equally well.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 2009. FIE '09. 39th IEEE

Date of Conference:

18-21 Oct. 2009