An examination of the employment of the pair programming methodology as a collaborative instructional scaffold on college student procedural learning and programming self-beliefs

Ronald Erdei, Purdue University

Abstract

Using a concurrent mixed methods case study approach, this study investigated the impact of employing the pair programming methodology as a collaborative instructional scaffold on student programming procedural knowledge and programming-related self-beliefs in an introductory computer programming course offered at a large university located in the Midwestern United States. Employing a design research theoretical perspective in a natural educational setting, the study used course performance data, survey data, and researcher observations to educe that employment of the pair programming methodology as a collaborative instructional scaffold facilitated a more efficient learning process as well as a learning process less reliant on instructors. However, employment of the scaffold did not facilitate any significant difference in amount of procedural knowledge ultimately learned by students. In essence: students learned faster and with less instructor assistance, but not more. Data was collected during a single semester of the course which had a final enrollment of 76 undergraduate students from science and technology disciplines. Analysis was primarily quantitative in nature, with qualitative data being quantified where possible. Findings were based on a cooperative learning theoretical framework, and results were analyzed to identify differential impact of the instructional scaffold by factors of interest to classroom practitioners.^

Degree

Ph.D.

Advisors

John A. Springer, Purdue University, David M. Whittinghill, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Pedagogy|Educational psychology|Computer science

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