Python and Roles of Variables in Introductory Programming: Experiences from Three Educational Institutions

Uolevi Nikula, Jorma Sajaniemi, Matti Tedre, Stuart Wray
InSITE 2007  •  Volume 7  •  2007
Students often find that learning to program is hard. Introductory programming courses have high drop-out rates and students do not learn to program well. This paper presents experiences from three educational institutions where introductory programming courses were improved by adopting Python as the first programming language and roles of variables as an aid in understanding program behavior. As a result of these changes, students were able to write working code from the very beginning, they found programming easy and interesting, they passed exams with good grades, and drop-out rates were low. Students became interested in programming and some of them even changed their personal study plan to include more of programming and computer science.
computer science education, programming, CS1, roles of variables, Python
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