What is it about?

In this experiment we examined whether using a computer programming pretest before taking a perception survey (i.e., providing examples of the key concept in the survey beforehand) had an impact on students’ self-reported self-efficacy and utility value.

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Why is it important?

Computer programming is becoming an essential skill for young students regardless of their education or career goals. Therefore, for students to develop and for educators and researchers to accurately measure self-efficacy in and value for programming is important. Although student motivation in subject matter can be measured using self-report surveys, these types of instruments are prone to error due to inherent biases. In this research we wanted to know if providing a pretest would help students make more realistic appraisals of their beliefs about programming.


The project that resulted in this publication was like a marathon rather than a sprint. From conception through to publication took a longer time than usual, but it was not a bad experience. The team that came together for the work was split across departments and universities, and each member brought a needed area of expertise and skill to the work. It was great that the lead author had a good relationship with the cooperating teacher and school to allow us to get a good number of participants, which can be difficult to obtain with younger learners in public schools.

Professor of Instructional Technology Charles B. Hodges
Georgia Southern University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: An Exploration of Factors Impacting Middle School Students’ Attitudes Toward Computer Programming, Computers in the Schools, March 2021, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/07380569.2021.1882209.
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