College Students’ Conceptions of Learning of and Approaches to Learning Computer Science
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.
Journal of Educational Computing Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Umapathy, K., Ritzhaupt, A. D., & Xu, Z. (2020). College Students’ Conceptions of Learning of and Approaches to Learning Computer Science. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 58(3), 662–686. https://doi.org/10.1177/0735633119872659