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Title: Failure, Frustration and Growth: Debugging Patterns in Novice Programmers
Authors: Zhang, Karen
Advisors: Leyzberg, Dan
Department: Computer Science
Class Year: 2019
Abstract: Debugging is unavoidable for programmers at any level of experience, and it can be especially confusing and frustrating for students who are new to computer science. Investigating student mindset in relation to debugging is key to understanding why and how novice programmers get frustrated and ultimately give up. Informed by theories from educational psychology about the connection between mindset, resilience, and academic achievement, I designed a tool for collecting data on students' patterns of behavior while debugging. The tool, which is implemented as an online debugging game, was made available to hundreds of real students enrolled in an introductory computer science course. The data collected using this tool sheds new light on the importance of understanding student attitudes about debugging and demonstrates the need give students the tools not just to write code, but also to debug code and handle the frustration that may come with it.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Computer Science, 1988-2019

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