“I’m not a computer”: How identity informs value and expectancy during a programming activity

Kathryn Cunningham, Rahul Agrawal Bejarano, Mark Guzdial, Barbara Ericson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Code tracing—simulating the way the computer executes a program—is a common teaching and assessment practice in introductory programming courses. In a laboratory experiment where code tracing was encouraged, we found that some struggling novice programmers described code tracing as not only cognitively complex, but also in opposition to their self-beliefs. One participant described himself as not a computer, and therefore unfit to execute code like the computer does. Another described himself as not a programmer, and did not value an activity that was only for learning about how code works. We mapped these learners’ self-narratives onto the Eccles Expectancy-Value Model of Achievement Choice to understand how identity relates to the choice to not trace code. While both participants valued what they could create with code, neither valued code tracing. Alternative activities might allow students with these identities to build skills in a way that aligns with their self-beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationThe Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2020 - Conference Proceedings
EditorsMelissa Gresalfi, Ilana Seidel Horn
PublisherInternational Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Pages705-708
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781732467262
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2020 - Nashville, United States
Duration: Jun 19 2020Jun 23 2020

Publication series

NameComputer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference, CSCL
Volume2
ISSN (Print)1573-4552

Conference

Conference14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNashville
Period6/19/206/23/20

Keywords

  • Code tracing
  • Expectancy-value theory
  • Motivation
  • Programming identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '“I’m not a computer”: How identity informs value and expectancy during a programming activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this