Skip to Main Content
This paper reports the results of research that measured the value of integrating problem solving, algorithm development, pseudocode, and diagramming techniques into introductory computer science courses. The hypothesis was that the introduction of these topics prior to the introduction of a programming language would reduce the learning curve requirements and increase the success rate for beginning programmers. Posttest programming scores for like tests exhibited some difference within the sample, with the treatment group performing better than the control group. Members of the treatment group reported a better experience in the introductory course and saw more applicability for that course than members of the control group. In addition, treatment group members utilized pseudocode more consistently and applied the idea of drawing pictures to aid in writing code during their posttest experience. The combined results indicated that learners, in general, found that the introductory course contained useful content and that they could successfully apply processes learned in that course as part of a programming strategy.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2006