Title

A Concept-First Approach for an Introductory Computer Science Course

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges

Volume

18

Issue

2

Publisher

Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges

Publication Date

2002

First Page

6

Last Page

16

Abstract

Several weaknesses have been identified to the programming-first approach often used in introductory computer science courses. Despite these weaknesses, programming continues to be the central focus in CS1 for many institutions. This paper proposes a concept-first approach that can be integrated into existing programming-first curriculum.The approach is based on three principles: a) drawing from the students' everyday experiences to introduce new ideas and skills; b) allowing students time to acquire a foundation in these concepts before introducing a high-level programming language; and c) separating fundamental concepts from language syntax. A feasibility study for integrating this new approach in a CS1 class at USU is described.

Comments

Originally published by the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges. Publisher's PDF available through remote link.