An Exploration of How a Technology-Facilitated Part-Complete Solution Method Supports the Learning of Computer Programming

Document Type

Journal Article


Informing Science Institute


Business and Law


School of Management




This article was originally published as: Garner, S. K. (2007). An exploration of how a technology-facilitated part-complete solution method supports the learning of computer programming. Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 4, 491-501. Original article available here


This paper reports on the findings from a qualitative research study into the use of a technologyfacilitated part-complete solution method (PCSM) that was used to support the learning of computer programming. The use of part-complete solutions to programming problems is one way in which the cognitive load that students experience during learning can be reduced. A code restructuring tool, CORT, was built to support the PCSM and an inquiry into its effectiveness took place over a period of 14 weeks at an Australian university. Results suggest that: the system provided strong scaffolding for student learning; students engaged well with the system and generally used a thoughtful and considered cognitive strategy; and the highest level of support was for student semantic difficulties, although there was also strong support for algorithmic and structural difficulties.