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Type: Journal article
Title: Is comprehension or application the more important skill for first-year computer science students?
Author: Falkner, N.
Citation: ERGO: The Journal of the Education Research Group of Adelaide, 2009; 1(2):15-26
Publisher: Education Research Group of Adelaide
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1835-6850
Statement of
Nickolas J. G. Falkner
Abstract: Time and performance data was collected on a class of 147 Computer Science 1B students, where students carried out a design and programming task based on one that had been seen in a previous examination. Given that students had previously worked through the task, we assessed their comprehension of that material in this assignment. We were then able to collect the performance data and correlate this with the examination marks for the student to determine if there was a relationship between performance in the examination and performance in this practical. We were also able to correlate the performance in this practical with the time taken to complete the practical, and with the student’s statement as to whether they remembered how they had solved it in their previous attempt. By doing this, we discovered that the students who remembered having solved it previously had a significantly higher mean examination mark than those students who claimed not to remember it. Unsurprisingly, students also performed better in this assignment if they had performed better in the examination. The mean time to complete the task was significantly less for those students who claimed to remember the task. In this task, the comprehension of the original material and the ability to recall it was of more importance than the ability to apply knowledge to an unseen problem.
Rights: © 2009 The University of Adelaide
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Computer Science publications

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