Ronald Erdei

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer and Information Technology

First Advisor

John A. Springer

Second Advisor

David M. Whittinghill

Committee Chair

John A. Springer

Committee Co-Chair

David M. Whittinghill

Committee Member 1

Shirl Donaldson

Committee Member 2

James L. Mohler


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.