A review of introductory programming research 2003–2017

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science


© 2018 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). A broad review of research on the teaching and learning of programming was conducted by Robins et al. in 2003. Since this work there have been several reviews of research concerned with the teaching and learning of programming, in particular introductory programming. However, these reviews have focused on highly specific aspects, such as student misconceptions, teaching approaches, program comprehension, potentially seminal papers, research methods applied, automated feedback for exercises, competency-enhancing games, and program visualisation. While these aspects encompass a wide range of issues, they do not cover the full scope of research into novice programming. Some notable areas that have not been reviewed are assessment, academic integrity and novice student attitudes to programming. There does not appear to have been a comprehensive review of research into introductory programming since that of Robins et al. It is therefore timely to conduct and present such a review in order to gain an understanding of the research focuses, to highlight advances in knowledge since 2003, and to indicate possible future directions for research.

Publication Title

Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE