By the same authors

What Do Beginning CS Majors Know?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper



Publication details

DatePublished - 2009
Original languageUndefined/Unknown


The standard “Introduction to Programming” or “CS1” course
traditionally assumes that it will be, for most students, the first
serious exposure to programming. For the past six years, we have
queried our students, in the first weeks of class, about what they
know. Results are compelling: virtually all beginning CS students
have used computers for over two years, and many for ten years
or more; on average, they know at least one programming
language in depth; many have written significant systems. These
and other measures of prior knowledge have been stable over the
query period. This article analyzes both the results obtained and
their pedagogical implications for courses and textbooks.

    Research areas

  • programming experience,student diversity

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