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Title: Towards a model of giftedness in programming : an investigation of programming characteristics of gifted students at University of Warwick
Author: Qahmash, Ayman
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 9602
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This study investigates characteristics related to learning programming for gifted first year computer science students. These characteristics include mental representations, knowledge representations, coding strategies, and attitudes and personality traits. This study was motivated by developing a theoretical framework to define giftedness in programming. In doing so, it aims to close the gap between gifted education and computer science education, allowing gifted programmers to be supported. Previous studies indicated a lack of theoretical foundation of gifted education in computer science, especially for identifying gifted programmers, which may have resulted in identification process concerns and/or inappropriate support. The study starts by investigating the relationship between mathematics and programming. We collected 3060 records of raw data of students' grades from 1996 to 2015. Descriptive statistics and the Pearson product-moment correlation test were used for the analysis. The results indicate a statistically significant positive correlation between mathematics and programming in general and between specific mathematics and programming modules. The study evolves to investigate other programming-related characteristics using case study methodology and collecting quantitative and qualitative data. A sample of n=9 cases of gifted students was selected and was interviewed. In addition, we collected the students' grades, code-writing problems and project (Witter) source codes and analysed these data using specific analysis procedures according to each method. The results indicate that gifted student programmers might possess a single or multiple characteristics that have large overlaps. We introduced a model to define giftedness in programming that consists of three profiles: mathematical ability, creativity and personal traits, and each profile consists of sub-characteristics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Jāmiʻat al-Malik Khālid
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA76 Electronic computers. Computer science. Computer software