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Author Mayer, Richard E. ♦ Bayman, Piraye
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Language English
Subject Keyword Basic ♦ Man-machine interface ♦ Programming ♦ Languages ♦ Novices
Abstract In the process of learning a computer language, beginning programmers may develop mental models for the language. A mental model refers to the user's conception of the “invisible” information processing that occurs inside the computer between input and output. In this study, 30 undergraduate students learned BASIC through a self-paced, mastery manual and simultaneously had hands-on access to an Apple II computer. After instruction, the students were tested on their mental models for the execution of each of nine BASIC statements. The results show that beginning programmers—although able to perform adequately on mastery tests in program generation—possessed a wide range of misconceptions concerning the statements they had learned. This paper catalogs beginning programmers' conceptions of “what goes on inside the computer” for each of nine BASIC statements.
Description Affiliation: Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (Bayman, Piraye; Mayer, Richard E.)
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2005-08-01
Publisher Place New York
Journal Communications of the ACM (CACM)
Volume Number 26
Issue Number 9
Page Count 3
Starting Page 677
Ending Page 679


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Source: ACM Digital Library