ACM Transactions on Computing Education

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Utilizing Structural Equation Modeling and Social Cognitive Career Theory to Identify Factors in Choice of IT as a Major

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 20:00
Andy Luse, Julie A. Rursch, Doug Jacobson

In the United States, the number of students entering into and completing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas has declined significantly over the past decade. Although modest increases have been shown in enrollments in computer-related majors in the past 4 years, the prediction is that even in 3 to 4 years when these students graduate, there will be shortages of computer-related professionals for industry. The challenge on which this article focuses is attracting students to select an information technology (IT) field such as computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, or information systems as a major when many high schools do not offer a single computer course, and high school counselors, families, and friends do not provide students with accurate information about the field.

Asking Research Questions: Theoretical Presuppositions

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 20:00
Josh Tenenberg

Asking significant research questions is a crucial aspect of building a research foundation in computer science (CS) education. In this article, I argue that the questions that we ask are shaped by internalized theoretical presuppositions about how the social and behavioral worlds operate. And although such presuppositions are essential in making the world sensible, at the same time they preclude carrying out many research studies that may further our collective research enterprise. I build this argument by first considering a few proposed research questions typical of much of the existing research in CS education, making visible the cognitivist assumptions that these questions presuppose.

An Achievement Degree Analysis Approach to Identifying Learning Problems in Object-Oriented Programming

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 20:00
Arwa A. Allinjawi, Hana A. Al-Nuaim, Paul Krause

Students often face difficulties while learning object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts. Many papers have presented various assessment methods for diagnosing learning problems to improve the teaching of programming in computer science (CS) higher education. The research presented in this article illustrates that although max-min composition is a method to analyze and determine student learning problems, when performed on an OOP exam, it shows some limitations. The max-min composition may be suitable for multiple choice questions (MCQs), but it is not adequate for questions with a more complex structure, as in the OOP assessment. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to present the incorporation of a concept-effect propagation approach and the Handy Instrument for Course Level Assessment (HI-Class) approach to promote a modified valid analysis approach, the Achievement Degree Analysis (ADA).