Subgoals help students solve Parsons Problems

Briana B. Morrison, Lauren E. Margulieux, Barbara Ericson, Mark Guzdial

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on a study that used subgoal labels to teach students how to write while loops with a Parsons problem learning assessment. Subgoal labels were used to aid learning of programming while not overloading students' cognitive abilities. We wanted to compare giving learners subgoal labels versus asking learners to generate subgoal labels. As an assessment for learning we asked students to solve a Parsons problem-to place code segments in the correct order. We found that students who were given subgoal labels performed statistically better than the groups that did not receive subgoal labels or were asked to generate subgoal labels. We conclude that a low cognitive load assessment, Parsons problems, can be more sensitive to student learning gains than traditional code generation problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages42-47
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450338561
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 17 2016
Event47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016 - Memphis, United States
Duration: Mar 2 2016Mar 5 2016

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education

Other

Other47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016
CountryUnited States
CityMemphis
Period3/2/163/5/16

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Keywords

  • Cognitive Load
  • Contextual Transfer
  • Parsons problem
  • Subgoal labels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Morrison, B. B., Margulieux, L. E., Ericson, B., & Guzdial, M. (2016). Subgoals help students solve Parsons Problems. In SIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education (pp. 42-47). (SIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/2839509.2844617