Pass Rates in Introductory Programming and in other STEM Disciplines

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dc.contributor.author Simon
dc.contributor.author Luxton-Reilly, Andrew
dc.contributor.author Ajanovski, Vangel
dc.contributor.author Fouh, Eric
dc.contributor.author Gonsalvez, Christabel
dc.contributor.author Leinonen, Juho
dc.contributor.author Parkinson, Jack
dc.contributor.author Poole, Matthew
dc.contributor.author Thota, Neena
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-10T09:20:01Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-10T09:20:01Z
dc.date.issued 2019-12-18
dc.identifier.citation Simon , Luxton-Reilly , A , Ajanovski , V , Fouh , E , Gonsalvez , C , Leinonen , J , Parkinson , J , Poole , M & Thota , N 2019 , Pass Rates in Introductory Programming and in other STEM Disciplines . in Proceedings of the Working Group Reports on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education . ACM , pp. 53-71 , ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education , Aberdeen , United Kingdom , 15/07/2019 . https://doi.org/10.1145/3344429.3372502
dc.identifier.citation conference
dc.identifier.other PURE: 129187243
dc.identifier.other PURE UUID: 8ddb0d02-b109-404a-9044-f90186f62b3b
dc.identifier.other ORCID: /0000-0001-6829-9449/work/77480628
dc.identifier.other WOS: 000571469200003
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10138/315984
dc.description.abstract Vast numbers of publications in computing education begin with the premise that programming is hard to learn and hard to teach. Many papers note that failure rates in computing courses, and particularly in introductory programming courses, are higher than their institutions would like. Two distinct research projects in 2007 and 2014 concluded that average success rates in introductory programming courses world-wide were in the region of 67%, and a recent replication of the first project found an average pass rate of about 72%. The authors of those studies concluded that there was little evidence that failure rates in introductory programming were concerningly high. However, there is no absolute scale by which pass or failure rates are measured, so whether a failure rate is concerningly high will depend on what that rate is compared against. As computing is typically considered to be a STEM subject, this paper considers how pass rates for introductory programming courses compare with those for other introductory STEM courses. A comparison of this sort could prove useful in demonstrating whether the pass rates are comparatively low, and if so, how widespread such findings are. This paper is the report of an ITiCSE working group that gathered information on pass rates from several institutions to determine whether prior results can be confirmed, and conducted a detailed comparison of pass rates in introductory programming courses with pass rates in introductory courses in other STEM disciplines. The group found that pass rates in introductory programming courses appear to average about 75%; that there is some evidence that they sit at the low end of the range of pass rates in introductory STEM courses; and that pass rates both in introductory programming and in other introductory STEM courses appear to have remained fairly stable over the past five years. All of these findings must be regarded with some caution, for reasons that are explained in the paper. Despite the lack of evidence that pass rates are substantially lower than in other STEM courses, there is still scope to improve the pass rates of introductory programming courses, and future research should continue to investigate ways of improving student learning in introductory programming courses. en
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher ACM
dc.relation.ispartof Proceedings of the Working Group Reports on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
dc.relation.isversionof 978-1-4503-7567-2
dc.rights unspecified
dc.rights.uri info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject 113 Computer and information sciences
dc.subject 516 Educational sciences
dc.title Pass Rates in Introductory Programming and in other STEM Disciplines en
dc.type Conference contribution
dc.contributor.organization Department of Computer Science
dc.contributor.organization RAGE - Agile Education Research group / Matti Luukkainen
dc.description.reviewstatus Peer reviewed
dc.relation.doi https://doi.org/10.1145/3344429.3372502
dc.rights.accesslevel openAccess
dc.type.version acceptedVersion

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