The relationship between conditional reasoning, conditional rule learning and computer programming

Joseph LiPuma, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between the conditional reasoning and rule learning abilities of adolescents, and their ability to learn computer programming. Performance on conditional reasoning and conditional rule learning tasks was compared with performance on computer programming tasks. The purpose of the study was to see if conditional reasoning and conditional rule learning could be used to predict (a) performance on conditional programming tasks employing logical connectives as found in the IF-THEN conditional programming concept, and (b) performance in an introductory computer course.^ Participants of this study were 96 seventh-grade students enrolled in a mandatory introductory programming course. Each student was asked to evaluate 96 conditional arguments and to solve a conditional rule learning problem prior to programming instruction. A conditional programming posttest was administered after instruction was completed. Scores on the conditional reasoning and conditional rule learning pretests were compared with conditional programming posttest scores (both semantic and syntactic) as well as with overall performance in the computer course.^ The results of this study support a relationship between conditional reasoning and conditional programming. Performance on conditional reasoning tasks was predictive of performance on conditional programming tasks as well as overall course performance. This result was particularly so for the semantic aspect of programming. The results did not support a relationship between conditional rule learning and computer programming. Results of this study are seen not only as providing us with additional predictors of programming performance, but also as evidence of a relationship between logical reasoning and programming. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

LiPuma, Joseph, "The relationship between conditional reasoning, conditional rule learning and computer programming" (1988). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8813577.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8813577

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