First Things First: Providing Metacognitive Scaffolding for Interpreting Problem Prompts

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Title: First Things First: Providing Metacognitive Scaffolding for Interpreting Problem Prompts
Authors: Prather, James
Pettit, Raymond
Becker, Brett A.
et al.
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Date: 2-Mar-2019
Online since: 2019-04-25T11:03:10Z
Abstract: When solving programming problems, novices are often not aware of where they are in the problem-solving process. For instance, students who misinterpret the problem prompt will most likely not form a valid conceptual model of the task and fail to make progress towards a working solution. Avoiding such errors, and recovering from them once they occur, requires metacognitive skills that enable students to reflect on their problem-solving processes. For these reasons, developing metacognitive awareness is crucially important for novice students. Previous research has shown that explicitly teaching key steps of programming problem-solving, and having students reflect on where they are in the problem-solving process, can help students complete future programming assignments. Such metacognitive awareness training can be done through personal tutoring, but can be difficult to implement without a high ratio of instructors to students. We explore a more scalable approach, making use of an automated assessment tool, and conduct a controlled experiment to see whether scaffolding the problem-solving process would increase metacognitive awareness and improve student performance. We collected all code submissions by students in both control and experimental groups, as well as data from direct observation using a think-aloud protocol. We found that students who received the intervention showed a higher degree of understanding of the problem prompt and were more likely to complete the programming task successfully.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Publisher: ACM Press
Start page: 531
End page: 537
Copyright (published version): 2019 ACM
Keywords: CS1Automated assessment toolsMetacognitive awareness
DOI: 10.1145/3287324.3287374
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education - SIGCSE '19
Conference Details: The SIGCSE Technical Symposium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, February 27th - 2nd March 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4503-5890-3
Appears in Collections:Computer Science Research Collection

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