While learning to program, what are the cognitive processes involved and where in particular do the difficulties that make programming appear hard to learn arise from?

While learning to program, what are the cognitive processes involved and where in particular do the difficulties that make programming appear hard to learn arise from?

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http://www.twu.ca/library/Flash_Tutorials/informational_research/index.html

Badke’s Tips (see Appendix One):

1) Your question leads to problem solving in which the data you collect, synthesize, and analyze are used as a tool to solve a problem (i.e., using data as a tool).

2) Your question is “focused clearly. Not only does your reader have a solid understanding of your goal, but so do you.”

3) Your “question is absolutely singular.”

4) Your question is so clear “that there is no risk that answers will go off in several different directions…” (i.e., avoid open-ended questions)

Sample paper

While learning to program, what are the cognitive processes involved and where in particular do the difficulties that make programming appear hard to learn arise from?

There is a perception in the computer science learning circles that to learn how to program is hard. From various studies conducted in relation to teaching computer science, there is empirical evidence suggesting that learning programming is hard for. For instance there is evidence from worldwide sampling in the past decades that indicated a 30% to 50% failure rate in the first programming class. The misconceptions and challenges faced by students that attempt to learn programming appear to have more in common, giving the indication that there could be unique cognitive challenges involved in learning to program.

The two most probable areas of difficulty may have to do with time and agency. Agency, which has to do with the human complexities involved in providing instructions to a non-human agent for execution. Time, has to do with the challenge of compressing time using a program. Writing a computer program constitutes giving a non-human agent a set of instructions to execute. Human beings as it is find it difficult to explain task processes to their fellow humans and the humans receiving the set of instructions also encounter challenges trying to understand and interpret the instructions. This goes on to show that people may face greater challenges trying to come up with instructions that are detailed enough for a computer to execute. Using these two aspects, this research question will seek to explain why programming appears to be so hard to learn by exploring with the aim of gaining the understanding of the challenges involved.

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