Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

An experimental investigation of the cloze procedure as a measure of program understanding Public Deposited

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  • Previous research in program understanding has been hampered by the lack of an easy tool to measure the degree of that understanding. The cloze procedure, suggested by Cook, Bregar, and Foote (1984) was an attempt to find a simple, reliable, and valid measure of program understanding. In this procedure, tokens are systematically removed from a computer program; it is the task of the subject to fill in the missing tokens with their correct values. The current study was an extension of this procedure; instead of filling in the blanks for the missing tokens the subjects were asked to match each blank with a token from a complete list of all missing tokens. The presentation of the matching cloze procedure was controlled by a computer; thereby making it possible to record a great deal of detail about the experimental session. The matching cloze procedure was given to beginning, intermediate, and advanced Computer Science students using two different levels of program difficulty. The results of Adelson (1981, 1984) and Chase and Simon (1973) would predict an interaction between these independent variables. In fact, the task seemed too easy and few statistical differences were found between the groups. Interestingly, reaction time data strongly indicated that some of the tokens were not treated independently of one another.
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