S1-FY6-1 - Object-Oriented Programming: Diagnosis Understanding by Identifying and Describing Novice Perceptions

2. Research-to-Practice Work In Progress
Julie Henry1 , Bruno Dumas1, Patrick Heymans1, Tony Leclercq1
1 Computer Science Department, NADI, University of Namur (Belgium)

This paper focuses on oriented-object programming (OOP) education and aims to validate a methodology for building a concept inventory (CI) dedicated to OOP. The long-term study presented here concerns the variable programming concept.
Teaching programming is a major issue due to the misconceptions of the students, notably in the OOP paradigm. Teachers need to be aware of the existence of these misconceptions, their variety and when they appear in order to quickly and efficiently correct them.
A CI can measure students' understanding of a set of concepts at a precise time. To measure the evolution of student's understanding over a semester, the CI has to be administrated several times along a specific timeline.
In the context of a 60-hour OOP course, a preliminary qualitative study was conducted during the 2018-2019 academic year. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 students following the OOP course. Each student was interviewed three times over a semester: Before the course, at mid-term over the semester, and after the course. Six students' perceptions of the variable programming concept were identified and used to build the OOP CI.
During the 2019-2020 academic-year, the CI was administred to 107 students following the OOP course. Three administrations were organized according to a specific timeline, aiming both to confirm the results of the preliminary study and to quantify the occurrence of the six perceptions in a class of students.
Based on the results obtained, the methodology appears to be effective in building a OOP CI.