The effects of elaboration and placement of analogies on student learning and attitude toward basic programming using computer-assisted instruction



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Texas Tech University


The major purposes of this study were: (a) to determine if analogies, elaboration of the analogies, and placement of the analogies help novices learning a computer programming language and affect their attitude toward learning a programming language in a computer-based learning environment; (b) to determine if the students' mathematics ability influences programming learning and their attitude toward a programming language; (c) to determine if students with relatively average-ability level in mathematics can benefit from analogies, elaboration of the analogies, or placement of the analogies; and (d) to determine if students with relatively high-ability levels in terms of SAT or ACT quantitative scores are affected through the use of analogies, elaboration of the analogies, or placement of the analogies.

Subjects were 156 college students from two summer courses in computing and information technology in the College of Education at a state university in northwest Texas. Students received their respective computer-assisted instruction lesson, which differed according to their treatment condition.

Results indicated that learning with analogies does significantly improve concept recall. No significant results were obtained for elaboration and placement of the analogy. Relatively high-ability students in terms of their mathematics score did achieve better than relatively average-ability students. Students with different ability levels did not significantly benefit from different treatments. However, the effect of analogies and elaboration approached significance for relatively averageability students.



Programming languages, Computer-assisted instruction