CCSE Reading Group: An overview of my PhD thesis on Understanding conceptual transfer in students learning new programming languages

Published: 6 December 2021

Ethel talks about her PhD thesis which she is just wrapping up, sharing some outcomes and critical thoughts about the nature of transfer from one programming language to another.

DATE: 6th December 2021
TIME: 13:00-14:00
LOCATION: CCSE Online Seminar Room

Learning to program has been challenging for students for the past four decades. An effort to mitigate these challenges has resulted in the evolution of multiple programming languages explicitly designed to ease how students learn to program. The adoption of these various programming languages in the classroom resulted in transition challenges experienced by students. My Ph.D. research focus was to understand these transition challenges. I started by exploring and investigating how students transfer their semantic and conceptual knowledge between programming languages (specifically Python and Java). This led to the development of a model of programming language transfer based on code comprehension. I then developed a pedagogical guideline for teaching second programming languages. In this talk, I discuss an overview of my Ph.D. research, the implications, and the next steps. 

First published: 6 December 2021