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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE 44th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training


Association for Computing Machinery

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Pauses in typing are generally considered to indicate cognitive processing and so are of interest in educational contexts. While much prior work has looked at typing behavior of Computer Science students, this paper presents results of a study specifically on the pausing behavior of students in Introductory Computer Programming. We investigate the frequency of pauses of different lengths, what last actions students take before pausing, and whether there is a correlation between pause length and performance in the course. We find evidence that frequency of pauses of all lengths is negatively correlated with performance, and that, while some keystrokes initiate pauses consistently across pause lengths, other keystrokes more commonly initiate short or long pauses. Clustering analysis discovers two groups of students, one that takes relatively fewer mid-to-long pauses and performs better on exams than the other.