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Title:Structured Flowcharting Versus Structured Pseudo-Coding in Teaching Problem-Solving Skills in Software Design: A Critical Comparison
Author(s):Wallace, David Charles
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Sciences
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:This study compared two methods of teaching software design to beginning programming University students. Dependent variables were design time spent on computer application problems, time spent correcting those problems, total time spent on those problems, total number of computer runs used, total dollar amount of computer time spent, and students' evaluations of the teaching of software design methodology. Effects of students' sex, major, and grade point average were also investigated. Independent variables were the two teaching methodologies: structured flowcharting and structured pseudo-coding.
Data were collected from students in two sections of beginning programming at Illinois State University. The research design was a patched design including pretests of dependent variables, treatment of independent variables, and posttests of dependent variables. Data were analyzed using the Analysis of Co-variance included in the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) of the University of Illinois.
These findings were obtained: higher GPA students in structured flowcharting spent significantly more time designing solutions, significantly less time correcting computer program application problems, and significantly less overall time on those problems than did higher GPA students in the structured pseudo-coding group. The two groups were not equivalent on the pretest for number of computer runs, but the flowcharting group ran approximately three fewer computer runs on the posttest; the pseudo-coding group averaged about the same number.
Findings suggest that the structured flowcharting approach to software design offers specific benefits to beginning programming students. It encourages students to think more about solutions to computer problems before trying to code and test computer instructions, resulting in less time correcting and less overall time completing the assignment. Consequently, structured flowcharting should be a primary tool to teach beginning programming students structured design logic. It should be integrated with information systems design courses, to provide a degree of continuity between practices learned in programming courses and practices taught in system design courses.
Issue Date:1986
Description:149 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8623433
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1986

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