Thinking and behaving scientifically in computer science: when failure is an option

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Venables, Anne and Tan, Grace (2006) Thinking and behaving scientifically in computer science: when failure is an option. Journal of Information Technology Education , 5. pp. 121-131. ISSN 1547-9714 (print) 1539-3585 (online)


In a Finnish study of four different academic di sciplines, Ylijoki (2000) found that in Computer Science there was a disparity between the concep tions held by undergraduate students and staff about their discipline; students viewed it as being far more pragmatic and results focused than did their instructors. Not surprisingly, here at our Australian university where the undergraduate Computer Science program emphasizes programmi ng and problem solving skills, the authors had noticed a similar inconsistency between staff and student beliefs. This paper reports on an effort to realign these conceptions and broaden student experience using an assessment task. Centered on solutions to the popular ‘Sudoku’ puzzle (Sudoku, 2005), the task was designed and intro- duced into an Intelligent Systems course, a final year elective of a Computer Science degree. The goal was to expose students to some of the ‘pure’ rather than applied aspects of the Computer Science discipline (Becher & Trowler, 2001), by using assessment to encourage experimental learning (Kolb & Fry, 1975).

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Keywords ResPubID11655, research diary, diaries, sudoku puzzles, projects, tasks, experiments, Melbourne, Victoria University
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