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Is there a role for programming in non-major computer science courses?

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2 Author(s)
Urban-Lurain, M. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI, USA ; Weinshank, D.J.

Should non-computer science (CS) majors learn to program? While the 1999 National Academy of Sciences report “Being Fluent with Information Technology” advocates teaching programming as part of the CS-0 experience, we challenge the assumptions upon which this recommendation rests. Our extensive review of the NECC (National Educational Computing Conference) and SIGCSE (Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education) conference proceedings from 1979 to 1998 clearly shows a decline in the number of articles in which programming is taught in CS-0 courses. Furthermore, based upon learning theory literature, we argue that conceptual understanding of computing can be acquired without learning to program. Finally, we describe our criterion-referenced, mastery-model course that prepares 1800 students per semester for a computing future that is constantly changing

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 2000. FIE 2000. 30th Annual  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

2000