Dr. David Feldon Publishes in the Journal of Learning Sciences

David Feldon
Dr. David Feldon
Dr. David Feldon co-authored an article published in the Journal of Learning Sciences last November. The article is entitled, "Dynamic Mental Model Construction: A Knowledge in Pieces-Based Explanation for Computing Students' Erratic Performance on Recursion."

The study was conducted as a part of a dissertation by Dr. Jie Chao, one of Dr. Feldon's former PhD students at the University of Virginia before he came to Utah State. Dr. James Cohoon, the third author, was another faculty advisor from the University of Virginia.

This research evaluated over 50 undergraduate computer science students and how they learned and performed difficult computer programming tasks (recursion). They evaluated these students through the lens of the Knowledge in Pieces (KiP) framework.

Dr. Jie Chao
Dr. Jie Chao
The study makes important contributions to both theory and practice. At the level of theory, it provides evidence that the KiP framework can explain the instability of misconceptions that lead to errors in only some instances. It also suggests that the framework can be appropriately applied even in the absence of physical experiences, which traditional KiP suggests are necessary. The study’s implications for practice in computer science education suggest that even subtle differences in the framing of problems can substantially impact students’ abilities to apply their emerging knowledge appropriately. As such, helping students to work through widely varying opportunities to use recursion in programming is very important (e.g., supporting students in using recursion with text strings as well as numeric values).

You can access the article on Taylor & Francis Online.


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