Reading Between the Lines: Student Help-Seeking for (Un)Specified Behaviors

John Wrenn, Shriram Krishnamurthi

Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, 2021

(Short Paper.)


A thorough understanding of specified behavior is essential for the completion of most programming tasks. Researchers have created automated tools to help students with this task. Yet, even with automated feedback, students may still face self-insurmountable challenges for which they must seek aid from the course staff.

What self-insurmountable challenges do students face? And (how) does access to automatic, on-demand feedback shape student help-seeking? To find out, we manually reviewed the 1,247 assignment-related student posts in the online help-forum of a post-secondary accelerated introductory computer science course. We report on the high-level relationships between student help-seeking and (under)specification in assignments, and identify a number of behaviors relevant to both researchers and educators.


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