A cognitive processing perspective on student programmers' 'graphicacy'
chapterposted on 2023-06-07, 13:22 authored by Richard Cox, Pablo Romero, Benedict du Boulay, Rudi Lutz
The 'graphicacy' of student programmers was investigated using several cognitive tasks designed to assess ER knowledge representation at the perceptual, semantic and output levels of the cognitive system. A large corpus of external representations (ERs) was used as stimuli. The question lsquoHow domain-specific is the ER knowledge of programmers?rsquo was addressed. Results showed that performance for programming-specific ER forms was equal to or slightly better than performance for non-specific ERs on the decision, naming and functional knowledge tasks, but not the categorisation task. Surprisingly, tree and network diagrams were particularly poorly named and categorised. Across the ER tasks, performance was found to be highest for textual ERs, lists, maps and notations (more ubiquitous, lsquoeverydayrsquo ER forms). Decision task performance was generally good across ER types indicating that participants were able to recognise the visual form of a wide range of ERs at a perceptual level. In general, the patterns of performance seem to be consistent with those described for the cognitive processing of visual objects.
Book titleProceedings of Diagrammatic Representation and Inference, Third International Conference, Diagrams 2004, Cambridge, UK
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Department affiliated with
- Informatics Publications
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