Exploring college students’ conceptions of learning computer science: a draw-a-picture technique study
Background and context: Researchers have been looking into the complexity of computer science (CS) education and tried to apply rigorous and relevant educational research methods to understand and facilitate the learning experience of students. Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore college students’ conceptions of learning CS to shed light on student learning activities, feelings, contexts, and beliefs about their learning. Method: Draw-a-picture technique was used as an emerging research technique in CS education. Using a modified coding checklist, we analyzed the drawings into 9 categories with 50 sub-categories. Findings: College students most frequently expressed computer programming as the learning activity by illustrating syntax and semantics of programming languages in the drawings. Problem-solving constructs like decomposition and abstraction were also recorded along with other tools like diagramming techniques. Gender and prior computer science experience were analyzed as moderators. Implications: The results provide a baseline for future research on the topic and preliminary evidence in using the method to discern student learning conceptions in CS.
Computer Science Education
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Zhen Xu, Albert D. Ritzhaupt, Karthikeyan Umapathy, Yang Ning & Chin-Chung Tsai (2021) Exploring college students’ conceptions of learning computer science: a draw-a-picture technique study, Computer Science Education, 31:1, 60-82, DOI: 10.1080/08993408.2020.1783155