Observations on the Design of Program Planning Notations for Students

Elijah Rivera, Shriram Krishnamurthi, Kathi Fisler

ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 2024


Program planning is the process of splitting a problem description into subtasks that can be solved independently, then composed into a solution. While much has been written about planning since the 1980s, little research looks at modern contexts such as programs to process data tables. Tool support for this sort of planning is even rarer. As part of a project to develop such tools, we have run two studies to try to identify steps, representations, and interactions that would support novice university students in planning and programming multi-task programs that process data tables. This experience report describes our observations so far, while also raising questions about how to make planning useful for students.



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