Anglia Ruskin University

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Learning from students: issues in computing education for 16-18 year olds

conference contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 16:51 authored by Sue Sentance
Computing is a subject which is widely regarded as difficult to master. There are large drop out rates from Computer Science courses at higher education level [5]. Whilst Computer Science education has been investigated in some depth at university level, there is less in-depth research into how Computing is learned in schools and the difficulties that students have. The study described in this short poster was an attempt to listen to students and reflect on their experiences of Computing. The project was carried out over a period of two years by a teacher of Computing in the UK, utilising data from 120 16-17 year old Computing students at various stages of a 2-year programme [7]. The intention of the project was to gain an understanding of what students were finding so difficult about Computing, and to trial small interventions with students, based on listening to their feedback. We wished to establish whether using different tools, adding more formative assessment, or introducing more collaborative working, helped to clear the fog that they were experiencing with regards to progress in Computing. These students may be our future university Computer Science students and as such our success in motivating and retaining them is crucial to maintain student numbers in higher education. Our students are social young adults, who may not fit into the stereotypes of students who might be naturally good at Computing described by Stuart Wray [9]. Being able to take time to listen to these students and help them to develop their skills in Computing might help us to retain young students and subsequently address the skills gap that we have in the UK caused by a lack of suitably qualified professionals [4].


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Association for Computing Machinery

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New York, NY



Conference proceeding

Proceedings of the 11th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research

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11th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research


Koli National Park, Finland

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  • other

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  • Technical Report

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)

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