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  • 1.
    Thomas, Lynda
    et al.
    Computer Science, Aberystwyth University , UK.
    Boustedt, Jonas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Computer science.
    Eckerdal, Anna
    Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, Sweden.
    McCartney, Robert
    Department of Computer Science and Engineering University of Connecticut, USA.
    Moström, Jan-Erik
    Department of Computing Science, Umeå University , Sweden.
    Sanders, Kate
    Mathematics and Computer Science Department ,Rhode Island College, USA.
    Zander, Carol
    Computing & Software Systems, University of Washington Bothell , USA.
    In the liminal space: software design as a threshold skill2017In: Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, ISSN 1750-8428, E-ISSN 1750-8428, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 333-351Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In previous work we proposed the idea of ‘threshold skills’ as a complement to threshold concepts. The definition of threshold concepts assumes that theoretical knowledge is paramount: gaining the understanding of particular concepts irreversibly transforms the learners. We noted, however, that mastering computing, like many disciplines, requires learning a combination of concepts and skills, and we suggested that this required further investigation. In this paper we examine the activity of designing software as a possible example of such a threshold skill. We looked at 35 software designs collected from students nearing graduation in computing courses, and see many of the characteristics of threshold skill and also of students being in liminal space. A close examination of the students’ designs leads to some useful implications for teaching this fundamental activity.

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