Conceptions of computer science

Conceptions of a subject are heavily influenced by how the subject is taught. Especially in computer science, however, the requests for computer science as a school subject are influenced by existing preconceptions which may be based on a biased or incomplete picture of what "computer science" is.

Our work in this area targets these central research questions:

  1. What is computer science ("Nature of Computer Science")?
  2. What conceptions of computer science are present among certain groups of people (teachers, parents, students, ...)?
  3. How does teaching influence this picture in its entirety or in selected concrete parts?


Measuring instruments

An important goal of ours is to develop validated and reliable measuring instruments for computer science educational research purposes.

The instrument "Alex the robot" currently consists of seven items in a unified format.
It tests the ability to apply the imerative control structures (sequence, loop, condition) and uses an easy to understand pseudo-programming language which is explained beforehand.

The first preliminary results indicate that this test measures a one-dimensional psychometric construct and that the itesm are Rasch-scaled.

If you would like to use this instrument, please contact us!