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Abstract

Students' (n = 23) actual programming behaviors were observed in two high school Pascal programming classes. Observation was performed with a computerized low inference instrument that collected both frequency and time data. Behaviors coded included students' production of code as well as their debugging strategies. Results revealed that students spend little time in planning their programs or writing their code before they start to key in their code. Their debugging behavior was best characterized as a trial and error strategy. Results are discussed in terms of the classroom context for programming and implications for research on the effects of programming instruction.