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An Analysis of Introductory Programming Courses at UK Universities / Ellen Murphy; Tom Crick; James H. Davenport

The Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming, Volume: 1, Issue: 2

Swansea University Author: Crick, Tom

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Abstract

Context: In the context of exploring the art, science and engineering of programming, the question of which programming languages should be taught first has been fiercely debated since computer science teaching started in universities. Failure to grasp programming readily almost certainly implies fa...

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Published in: The Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming
ISSN: 2473-7321
Published: AOSA 2017
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa43520
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spelling 2019-01-30T17:17:08Z v2 43520 2018-08-18 An Analysis of Introductory Programming Courses at UK Universities Tom Crick Tom Crick true 0000-0001-5196-9389 false 200c66ef0fc55391f736f6e926fb4b99 9971fd6d74987b78a0d7fce128f8c721 z93Ri4T5hwMLTfh+6XG11n2HZhUyFASdV1DFdgIIhKs= 2018-08-18 EDUC Context: In the context of exploring the art, science and engineering of programming, the question of which programming languages should be taught first has been fiercely debated since computer science teaching started in universities. Failure to grasp programming readily almost certainly implies failure to progress in computer science.Inquiry: What first programming languages are being taught? There have been regular national-scale surveys in Australia and New Zealand, with the only US survey reporting on a small subset of universities. This the first such national survey of universities in the UK.Approach: We report the results of the first survey of introductory programming courses (N=80) taught at UK universities as part of their first year computer science (or related) degree programmes, conducted in the first half of 2016. We report on student numbers, programming paradigm, programming languages and environment/tools used, as well as the underpinning rationale for these choices.Knowledge: The results in this first UK survey indicate a dominance of Java at a time when universities are still generally teaching students who are new to programming (and computer science), despite the fact that Python is perceived, by the same respondents, to be both easier to teach as well as to learn.Grounding: We compare the results of this survey with a related survey conducted since 2010 (as well as earlier surveys from 2001 and 2003) in Australia and New Zealand.Importance: This survey provides a starting point for valuable pedagogic baseline data for the analysis of the art, science and engineering of programming, in the context of substantial computer science curriculum reform in UK schools, as well as increasing scrutiny of teaching excellence and graduate employability for UK universities. Journal article The Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming 1 2 AOSA 2473-7321 introductory programming, programming pedagogy, programming environments, programming education, computer science education 1 4 2017 2017-04-01 10.22152/programming-journal.org/2017/1/18 http://programming-journal.org/2017/1/18/ College of Arts and Humanities School of Education CAAH EDUC None None 2019-01-30T17:17:08Z 2018-08-18T15:24:21Z College of Science Computer Science Ellen Murphy 1 Tom Crick 2 James H. Davenport 3 0043520-27082018105903.pdf 1609.06622v2.pdf 2018-08-27T10:59:03Z Output 490010 application/pdf VoR true Updated Notes 21/09/2018 2018-08-27T00:00:00 Released under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY). true eng
title An Analysis of Introductory Programming Courses at UK Universities
spellingShingle An Analysis of Introductory Programming Courses at UK Universities
Crick, Tom
title_short An Analysis of Introductory Programming Courses at UK Universities
title_full An Analysis of Introductory Programming Courses at UK Universities
title_fullStr An Analysis of Introductory Programming Courses at UK Universities
title_full_unstemmed An Analysis of Introductory Programming Courses at UK Universities
title_sort An Analysis of Introductory Programming Courses at UK Universities
author_id_str_mv 200c66ef0fc55391f736f6e926fb4b99
author_id_fullname_str_mv 200c66ef0fc55391f736f6e926fb4b99_***_Crick, Tom
author Crick, Tom
author2 Ellen Murphy
Tom Crick
James H. Davenport
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publishDate 2017
institution Swansea University
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url http://programming-journal.org/2017/1/18/
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description Context: In the context of exploring the art, science and engineering of programming, the question of which programming languages should be taught first has been fiercely debated since computer science teaching started in universities. Failure to grasp programming readily almost certainly implies failure to progress in computer science.Inquiry: What first programming languages are being taught? There have been regular national-scale surveys in Australia and New Zealand, with the only US survey reporting on a small subset of universities. This the first such national survey of universities in the UK.Approach: We report the results of the first survey of introductory programming courses (N=80) taught at UK universities as part of their first year computer science (or related) degree programmes, conducted in the first half of 2016. We report on student numbers, programming paradigm, programming languages and environment/tools used, as well as the underpinning rationale for these choices.Knowledge: The results in this first UK survey indicate a dominance of Java at a time when universities are still generally teaching students who are new to programming (and computer science), despite the fact that Python is perceived, by the same respondents, to be both easier to teach as well as to learn.Grounding: We compare the results of this survey with a related survey conducted since 2010 (as well as earlier surveys from 2001 and 2003) in Australia and New Zealand.Importance: This survey provides a starting point for valuable pedagogic baseline data for the analysis of the art, science and engineering of programming, in the context of substantial computer science curriculum reform in UK schools, as well as increasing scrutiny of teaching excellence and graduate employability for UK universities.
published_date 2017-04-01T22:09:42Z
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