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Threshold concepts in computer science: do they exist and are they useful?
Högskolan i Gävle, Institutionen för matematik, natur- och datavetenskap, Ämnesavdelningen för datavetenskap. (UpCERG)
Vise andre og tillknytning
2007 (engelsk)Inngår i: SIGCSE Bulletin inroads, ISSN 0097-8418, Vol. 39, nr 1, s. 504-508Artikkel i tidsskrift (Annet vitenskapelig) Published
Abstract [en]

Yes, and Yes.

We are currently undertaking an empirical investigation of “Threshold Concepts” in Computer Science, with input from both instructors and students. We have found good empirical evidence that at least two concepts—Object-oriented programming and pointers—are Threshold Concepts, and that there are potentially many more others.

In this paper, we present results gathered using various experimental techniques, and discuss how Threshold Concepts can affect the learning process.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2007. Vol. 39, nr 1, s. 504-508
Emneord [en]
Threshold Concepts, learning theory
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-2624DOI: doi:10.1145/1227504.1227482OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-2624DiVA, id: diva2:119286
Tilgjengelig fra: 2008-03-07 Laget: 2008-03-07 Sist oppdatert: 2018-03-13bibliografisk kontrollert
Inngår i avhandling
1. On the Road to a Software Profession: Students' Experiences of Concepts and Thresholds
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>On the Road to a Software Profession: Students' Experiences of Concepts and Thresholds
2010 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

Research has shown that there are gaps in knowledge between newly hired and experienced professionals and that some of these gaps are related to concepts, such as the concepts of object orientation. This problem, and the fact that most computer science majors want to work in the software industry, leads to questions regarding why these gaps exist and how students can be better prepared for their future careers. Against this background, this thesis addresses two theme-based perspectives that focus on students' views of concepts in Computer Science.

The first theme-based perspective investigated the existence of potential Threshold Concepts in Computer Science. Such concepts should be troublesome, transformative, irreversible, and integrative. Qualitative methods have been mainly used and empirical data have been collected through semi-structured interviews, concept maps, and written stories. The results identified two Threshold Concepts, suggested several more, and then described the ways in which these concepts have transformed students.

The second theme-based perspective took a phenomenographic approach to find the variation in how students understand concepts related to the software profession. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews. In one study the interviews were held in connection with role-playing where students took on the role of a newly hired programmer. The results show a variety of ways to experience the addressed phenomena in the student collective, ranging from superficial views that often have a practical nature to more sophisticated understandings that reflect a holistic approach, including a professional point of view.

Educators can use the results to emphasize concepts that are important from students' perspectives. The phenomenographic outcome spaces can help teachers to reflect upon their own ways of seeing contrasted with student conceptions. I have indicated how variation theory can be applied to open more sophisticated ways of seeing, which in this context stresses the professional aspects to help students prepare for becoming professional software developers.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. s. 61
Serie
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 734
Emneord
Biographies, class diagram, computer science education, computer science education research, computing concepts, concept map, content analysis, higher education, java interface, learning, object orientation, phenomenography, programming, role-play, software development, software profession, threshold concepts, variation theory
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-10531 (URN)978-91-554-7789-9 (ISBN)
Disputas
2010-06-04, Room 2446, Polacksbacken, Lägerhyddsvägen 2D, Uppsala, Uppsala, 13:15 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Merknad
1) Forskningsämne: Datavetenskap med inriktning mot datavetenskapens didaktik 2) Boustedts forskning skedde vid Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Matematisk-datavetenskapliga sektionen, Institutionen för informationsteknologi, Avdelningen för teknisk databehandling) (Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Matematisk-datavetenskapliga sektionen, Institutionen för informationsteknologi, Numerisk analysTilgjengelig fra: 2011-09-29 Laget: 2011-09-29 Sist oppdatert: 2018-03-13bibliografisk kontrollert

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