Exploring Programming Instruction in Multidisciplinary Contexts

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science


Programming is becoming skill required by a wide range of students, not just CS majors. Furthermore, not only are non-CS majors learning to program, but many non-CS faculty find themselves teaching programming courses. Introducing these faculty and students to the craft of programming is accompanied by a number of unique challenges. How can non-CS faculty position themselves as programming experts, given they are not CS people? How can we convince non-CS students that coding is a necessary skill? Often our non-computing majors are reluctant, stating "Programming isn't what I signed up for!" Many non-CS students are not receptive to learning new programming languages due to a lack of intrinsic motivation coupled with technological anxiety. These factors often result in low-self efficacy, which must be overcome in order to explore, play, and learn. This Birds of a Feather discussion brings together instructors from diverse disciplines to discuss the teaching of programming to a range of students, the barriers that exist for non-computing students, and the interventions that attempt to mitigate these issues.

Publication Title

SIGCSE '19: Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education