The learning of plans in programming: A program completion approach
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Business
Programming plans are stereotyped sequences of computer instructions, that form a hierarchy of generalised programming knowledge. They can be thought of as the building blocks of computer programs. In the learning of programming, it is necessary for students to build knowledge of a variety of plans that they can then make use of during the development of larger programs. This paper discusses two methods by which students can learn such plans, the "conventional" method that has been used by instructors for many years, and the "completion" method. The completion method requires students to complete part-complete solutions to given programming problems. As part of a research project, some students were observed using the completion method in conjunction with a software tool, CORT (code restructuring tool). The paper reports on one particular observation in which a student was required to build a programming plan. It concludes that the student gained a deep understanding of how the plan worked during the knowledge construction process.