Seminars & Colloquia

Samiha Marwan


"'Yay!! You did it ;)'. The Impact of Proactive Positive Feedback on Novices in a Block-based Programming Environment "

Monday October 14, 2019 12:00 PM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)


Abstract: Psychological research and theories on learning show that positive feedback during practice can increase learners’ motivation, confidence, and correlates with their learning. We present two novel forms of proactive positive programming feedback: pop-up messages and a progress panel that shows students when they have successfully completed an assignment objective. We conducted a controlled study with 26 high school students to explore the impact of adaptive and proactive positive feedback on students performing open-ended tasks in a block-based programming environment. We found that positive feedback reduces idle time for all students, and may improve self-assessment and efficacy for students with low prior programming experience. In interviews, students note that the positive feedback system made them feel more focused and engaged, with female students particularly noting the fun aspects of the system and male students noting the system’s ability to detect progress. Overall, our results suggest that positive feedback may particularly benefit novices with lower prior experience, but that other forms of support are needed to improve novice programmers’ performance.
Short Bio: Samiha Marwan is a 3rd-year PhD student in the department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. She is a research assistant in the HINTS lab, supervised by Dr. Thomas Price. Her research focus is on developing and analyzing the effect of intelligent support in programming environments, particularly using data-driven approaches, to improve students’ performance and help them learn. Samiha’s research is driven by her passion for helping students learn how to code and improving students’ problem solving skills. This semester Samiha is co-leading the SPARCS middle school computer science outreach program. Samiha has been the coordinator for the online section of CSC116 - Intro to Java Programming for the past 2 summer semesters at NCSU, and has taught programming tutorials for 4 years in Egypt before pursuing her PhD.

Host: Noboru Matsuda, CSC

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