Qualitative Analysis of Programming Interview Videos

Are you interested in qualitative research, and specifically in trying to “debug” people’s conceptual understanding (or misunderstanding)? Are you a proficient programmer, and like to help others in learning to program? Then this MARS internship may be for you.

The Luce research group is looking for Master students interested in joining our new research project on Conceptual Change in Learning to Program.

We are conducting “mastery checks” of students in undergraduate programming courses. The students are asked to explain concepts, and to perform various programming tasks. We record these checks on video, over the course of an entire semester. We then use modern qualitative data analysis software to study the videos and to analyze how the students’ conceptual understanding of specific programming language features and of programming strategies changes over time. The goal is the identification of learning trajectories which will inform the design of educational materials and assessments.

This project is related to two other projects offered by Luce (“Automated Program Analyses of Student Programs” and “Educational Technology for Learning to Program”). Unlike in these other projects, in this project the focus is on qualitative research. Interest in gaining a profound understanding of how people learn difficult concepts is a must, and experience using qualitative data analysis methods (such as one might get in a qualitative research course) is an advantage.

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