Title

College Students’ Conceptions of Learning of and Approaches to Learning Computer Science

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2020

Subject Area

ARRAY(0x55e57abe8310)

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to examine college students’ conceptions of learning computer science and approaches to learning computer science and to examine the relationships among these two important constructs and possible moderating factors. Student data (N = 193) were collected using the conceptions of learning computer science and the approaches to learning computer science surveys at one public research institution in the southeastern United States. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, Confirmatory Factor Analysis models, internal consistency reliability, Pearson correlations, stepwise multiple regression models, and Multivariate Analysis of Variance models. The results suggest that college students most favorably employ a deep strategy approach for learning computer science in which prior knowledge is activated and meaningful learning strategies are used. College students appear to be more extrinsically motivated to learn computer science than intrinsically. Higher level learning conceptions are associated with a deep strategy approach to learning (e.g., Seeing in a new way) whereas low-level conceptions are associated with a surface strategy (e.g., Memorizing) approach to learning. Male college students have slightly higher conceptions of programming than their female counterparts. The findings are discussed and both limitations and delimitations of the study are enumerated.

Publication Title

Journal of Educational Computing Research

Volume

58

Issue

3

First Page

662

Last Page

686

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1177/0735633119872659

ISSN

07356331

E-ISSN

15414140

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