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RecurTutor

RecurTutor Recursion is one of the most important and hardest topics in lower division computer science courses. As it is an advanced programming skill, the best way to learn it is through targeted practice exercises. But the best practice problems are time consuming to manually grade by an instructor. As a consequence, students historically have completed only a small number of recursion programming exercises as part of their coursework. We present a new way for teaching such programming skills. Students view examples and visualizations, then practice a wide variety of automatically assessed, small-scale programming exercises that address the sub-skills required to learn recursion. The basic recursion tutorial (RecurTutor) teaches material typically encountered in CS2 courses. Students who used RecurTutor had significantly better grades on recursion exam questions than did students who used typical instruction. Students who experienced RecurTutor spent significantly more time on solving recursive programming exercises than students who experienced typical instruction, and came out with a significantly higher confidence level. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) Association for Computing Machinery

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Publisher
Association for Computing Machinery
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 ACM
ISSN
1946-6226
eISSN
1946-6226
DOI
10.1145/3218328
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recursion is one of the most important and hardest topics in lower division computer science courses. As it is an advanced programming skill, the best way to learn it is through targeted practice exercises. But the best practice problems are time consuming to manually grade by an instructor. As a consequence, students historically have completed only a small number of recursion programming exercises as part of their coursework. We present a new way for teaching such programming skills. Students view examples and visualizations, then practice a wide variety of automatically assessed, small-scale programming exercises that address the sub-skills required to learn recursion. The basic recursion tutorial (RecurTutor) teaches material typically encountered in CS2 courses. Students who used RecurTutor had significantly better grades on recursion exam questions than did students who used typical instruction. Students who experienced RecurTutor spent significantly more time on solving recursive programming exercises than students who experienced typical instruction, and came out with a significantly higher confidence level.

Journal

ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE)Association for Computing Machinery

Published: Nov 19, 2018

Keywords: Recursion

References