Transforming learning of programming: A mentoring project

D'Souza, D, Hamilton, M, Harland, J, Muir, P, Thevathayan, C and Walker, C 2008, 'Transforming learning of programming: A mentoring project', in Simon and Margaret Hamilton (ed.) Proceedings Tenth Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2008), Wollongong, Australia, 22 - 25 January, 2008.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

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Title Transforming learning of programming: A mentoring project
Author(s) D'Souza, D
Hamilton, M
Harland, J
Muir, P
Thevathayan, C
Walker, C
Year 2008
Conference name Tenth Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2008)
Conference location Wollongong, Australia
Conference dates 22 - 25 January, 2008
Proceedings title Proceedings Tenth Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2008)
Editor(s) Simon and Margaret Hamilton
Publisher The Australian Computer Society
Place of publication Australia
Abstract Programming is central to Computer Science and cognate disciplines, and poses early-learning challenges in problem-solving and coding. Since the recent past the School of Computer Science & Information Technology (RMIT University) has provided a student mentoring service to assist novice student programmers with their programming, indeed, to build up their confidence in programming. The service has received favourable feedback from students and, as an interesting aside, has had the added benefit of increasing mentors' confidence and improving mentors' communication skills. Mentors volunteer their services under a University leadership initiative, and are not paid to assist students. In light of such success, we secured a University action-research teaching and learning grant, to investigate aspects of the service delivered to date. While mentoring has been shown to be helpful for novice student programmers to learn and improve their programming, less recognised, but of equal importance, is the value to mentors through the skills and experience they gain. This paper reports early findings of a dual-purpose research investigation into the mentoring service. The research project seeks to discover ways to improve the mentoring service for novice student programmers, as well as to enhance a range of qualities in mentors.
Subjects Higher Education
Keyword(s) mentoring
introductory programming
action research
Copyright notice Copyright © 2008, Australian Computer Society, Inc
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