Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Pulling your weight?: New CS entrants' reflections on their experience of collaborative work at high school

Bhardwaj, Jyoti



University CS courses encourage collaborative work to improve engagement, despite the popular perception that CS attracts students who prefer working alone. The aim of this study is to explore new entrants' reflections on their experience of group work at school, as a first step to designing CS1 learning events that meet their expectations better.

The study is based on interviews with 84 Scottish-educated CS1 entrants in two cohorts coinciding with the introduction of new public examinations in CS and the rollout of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in Scotland. We asked entrants about their experiences of group work in the senior years of high school; we asked for examples of group activities and whether they thought group work was a good way to learn. Finally, we asked if they would have preferred to do more.

The findings from both cohorts indicate that many students experienced little or no teacher-led collaborative work at school. Many would have preferred more collaboration and projects in CS. Some preferred student-organised group study to teacher-led collaboration. Overall, around half viewed their experience positively, with those ambivalent about more collaboration confirming they would prefer if everyone did their fair share.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (Published)
Conference Name 1st UK & Ireland Computing Education Research Conference
Start Date Sep 5, 2019
End Date Sep 6, 2019
Acceptance Date Jul 11, 2019
Publication Date 2019-09
Deposit Date Aug 19, 2022
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Book Title UKICER: Proceedings of the 1st UK & Ireland Computing Education Research Conference
ISBN 978-1-4503-7257-2
Public URL
Publisher URL