Befriending Computer Programming: A Proposed Approach to Teaching Introductory Programming

Iwona Miliszewska, Grace Tan
InSITE 2007  •  Volume 7  •  2007
The problems encountered by students in first year computer programming units are a common concern in many universities including Victoria University. A fundamental component of a computer science curriculum, computer programming is a mandatory unit in a computing course. It is also one of the most feared and hated units by many novice computing students who, having failed or performed poorly in a programming unit, often drop out from a course. This article discusses some of the difficulties experienced by first year programming students, and reviews some of the initiatives undertaken to counter the problems. The article also reports on the first stage of a current research project at Victoria University that aims to develop a balanced approach to teaching first year programming units; its goal is to ‘befriend’ computer programming to help promote success among new programming students.
automated assessment, introductory computer programming, programming support, student mentors
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