Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Strategies utilized in computer problem solving and object-oriented programming Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/s1784n84b

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  • The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe how novice students solved computer programming problems in a beginning college level computer science (CS) course with an introduction to object-oriented programming (OOP) and what knowledge they obtained about OOP and computer problem solving (CPS) as a result of their experiences. Additionally, this descriptive study attempted to characterize the instruction provided to students in a beginning CS course as well as students' CPS strategies. An introduction to computer science class at the college level was selected for the sample. One experienced instructor and four students participated in this study. Data were collected through classroom observations, interviews with the instructor and students, classroom documents and researcher's journals. The analysis of the results revealed a teacher-centered instruction focused on syntactical details with an emphasis on the imperative paradigm and an introduction to object-oriented aspects of the C++ language. Results revealed that to develop the solution code for the given problems, students consistently approached them without a comprehensive written plan/design. The process students typically used in developing a solution for the given computer problem involved: (1) problem understanding, (2) preliminary problem analysis, (3) reliance on examples and (4) trial-and-error. Students typically approached debugging syntax and logic errors by (1) following the compiler generated messages, (2) using trial-and-error, (3) performing a desk-check strategy and (4) using the VISUAL C++ debugger. This study identified the features of CPS and OOP learning that can be studied for identifying how students approach CPS and OOP processes in other object-oriented languages (such as JAVA) and how their CPS and OOP processes develop as compared to C++. Differences in programming performances were found among males and females. Males in this study were more comfortable with the mechanical-orientation of programming as compared with their female counterparts. Future research is needed in CPS and OOP to explore gender issues in learning OOP languages. This study identified potential student CPS and OOP learning processes and factors using a qualitative approach. Future research should investigate the factors effecting introductory CS problem solving using a quantitative methodology or perhaps a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches.
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