Scholarly Communications Project

Factors Affecting the Programming Performance of Computer Science Students


John B. Raley

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science


Clifford A. Shaffer, Chair
Sallie Henry
N. Dwight Barnette

October 11, 1996
Blacksburg, Virginia


Two studies of factors affecting the programming performance of first- and second year Computer Science students were conducted. In one study students used GIL, a simple application framework, for their programming assignments in a second-semester programming course. Improvements in student performance were realized. In the other study, students submitted detailed logs of how time was spent on projects, along with their programs. Software metrics were computed on the students' source code. Correlations between student performance and the log data and software metric data were sought. No significant indicators of performance were found, even with factors that are commonly expected to indicate performance. However, results from previous research concerning variations in individual programmer performance and relationships between software metrics were obtained.

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