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Diversity and motivation in introductory programming

Author(s): Tony Jenkins | John Davy

Journal: Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences
ISSN 1473-7507

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2002;
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Keywords: programming | diversity | motivation | aptitude | learning

The number of students entering Higher Education in the UK continues to increase, and there is no sign of an end to this trend. This expansion brings with it a more diverse student body — students are diverse in terms of their prior experiences, their pre-existing skills, their expectations and their motivations. This highly varied student body often encounters a teaching regime that was designed for a smaller, and much more homogeneous, group of students. This is a significant problem in Computing courses, and especially in introductory programming. Students will approach learning to program from a wide variety of backgrounds, yet they will usually be taught and assessed in the same way. This paper considers the diversity of the introductory programming class, and describes some attempts to handle this diversity in the teaching programmes at the School of Computing at the University of Leeds.
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