Engaging Novice Programmers: A Literature Review of the Effect of Code Critiquers on Programming Self-efficacy

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering; Department of Computer Science; Department of Engineering Fundamentals


Several rule-based code critiquing systems have been developed to support programmers. However, these systems often are targeted toward experienced learners. Novice learners often lack self-efficacy in programming [1]-code critiquers targeted at novice programmers to promote student learning and enrich the overall education system are essential. Students' self-efficacy for programming is the perception of students' competence concerning programming [2], an essential attribute of computer science education. This paper examines existing literature on the impact of self-efficacy on students in programming. This work focuses on empirical work in programming education that independently addresses and develops theories specific to student programming-at the same time, addressing the existing gap in understanding the impact of code critiquers on student self-efficacy. The systematic review followed guidelines proposed by Kitchenham methodology. Findings revealed various factors that improve self-efficacy and provide evidence of significant sources of self-efficacy in programming. Moreover, the investigation guides further research in designing code critiquers to enhance the self-efficacy of novice learners. This work is part of a more significant effort to investigate the use of antipatterns (common programming mistakes) in novice programmers' coding. This sub-project aims to determine if the use of a code critiquer by first-year engineering students will improve student self-efficacy regarding programming.

Publication Title

Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE