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A Controlled Experiment on Python vs C for an Introductory Programming Course: Student's Outcomes

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Autor(es):
Wainer, Jacques [1] ; Xavier, Eduardo C. [1]
Número total de Autores: 2
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
[1] Univ Estadual Campinas, Comp Inst, Av Albert Einstein 1251, BR-13083852 Campinas, SP - Brazil
Número total de Afiliações: 1
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: ACM TRANSACTIONS ON COMPUTING EDUCATION; v. 18, n. 3 SEP 2018.
Citações Web of Science: 0
Resumo

We performed a controlled experiment comparing a C and a Python Introductory Programming course. Three faculty members at University of Campinas, Brazil, taught the same CS1 course for the same majors in two different semesters, one version in Python and one in C, with a total of 391 students involved in the experiment. We measured the dropout rate, the failure rate, the grades on the two exams, the proportion of completed lab assignments, and the number of submissions per completed assignment. There was no difference in the dropout rate. The failure rate for Python was 16.9% against 23.1% for C. The effect size (Cohen's D) on the comparison of Python against C on the midterm exam was 0.27, and 0.38 for the final exam. The effect size for the proportion of completed assignments was 0.39 and the effect size for the number of submissions per assignment was -0.61 (Python had less submissions per completed assignments). Thus, for all measures, with the exception of dropout rate, the version of the course in Python yielded better student outcomes than the version in C and all differences are significant (with 95% confidence) with the exception of the failure rate (p-value = 0.12). (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 16/23552-7 - Problemas de corte e empacotamento: abordagens práticas e teóricas
Beneficiário:Rafael Crivellari Saliba Schouery
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Regular
Processo FAPESP: 15/11937-9 - Investigação de problemas difíceis do ponto de vista algorítmico e estrutural
Beneficiário:Flávio Keidi Miyazawa
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Temático