The nature of an object-oriented program: how do practitioners understand the nature of what they are creating?

Errol Thompson, Professor Kinshuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Object-oriented programming is seen as a difficult skill to master. There is considerable debate about the most appropriate way to introduce novice programmers to object-oriented concepts. Is it possible to uncover what the critical aspects or features are that enhance the learning of object-oriented programming? Practitioners have differing understandings of the nature of an object-oriented program. Uncovering these different ways of understanding leads to agreater understanding of the critical aspects and their relationship tothe structure of the program produced. A phenomenographic studywas conducted to uncover practitioner understandings of the nature of an object-oriented program. The study identified five levels of understanding and three dimensions of variation within these levels. These levels and dimensions of variation provide a framework for fostering conceptual change with respect to the nature of an object-oriented program.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-287
Number of pages18
JournalComputer Science Education
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

This is an electronic version of an article published in Thompson, E & Kinshuk 2011, 'The nature of an object-oriented program: how do practitioners understand the nature of what they are creating?', Computer science education, vol 21, no. 3, pp. 269-287.. Computer Science Education is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0899-3408&volume=21&issue=3&spage=269

Keywords

  • perception
  • understanding
  • program structure
  • critical aspects
  • phenomenography
  • object-oriented
  • programming

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