Conference Paper

Women catch up: gender differences in learning programming concepts.

DOI: 10.1145/1121341.1121350 Conference: Proceedings of the 39th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2006, Houston, Texas, USA, March 3-5, 2006
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT This paper describes a multi-institutional study that used categorization exercises (known as constrained card sorts) to investigate gender differences in graduating computer science students' learning and perceptions of programming concepts. Our results show that female subjects had significantly less pre-college programming experience than their male counterparts. However, for both males and females, we found no correlation between previous experience and success in the major, as measured by computer science grade point average at graduation. Data also indicated that, by the time students completed their introductory courses, females reported nearly equal levels of mastery as males of the programming concepts. Furthermore, females generally considered the programming concepts to be no more difficult than did the men.

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    ABSTRACT: Learning settings, methods as well as the lessons' contents in schools in Germany have undergone significant changes over the years, developing towards a more gender oriented way of teaching. Yet, the significant gap between girls' and boys' participation in computer science remains. Based on a qualitative study among female teenage students and their teachers in Germany, we have developed and put into practice a curriculum taking the girls' assessment of and access to both computer science and professional activity in the IT domain into account.
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