Conference Proceedings

Understanding wikipedia as a resource for opportunistic learning of computing concepts

MP Robillard, C Treude

Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE | Published : 2020

Abstract

Posts on on-line forums where programmers look for information often include links to Wikipedia when it can be assumed the reader will not be familiar with the linked terms. A Wikipedia article will thus often be the first exposure to a new computing concept for a novice programmer. We conducted an exploratory study with 18 novice programmers by asking them to read a Wikipedia article on a common computing concept that was new to them, while using the think-aloud protocol.We performed a qualitative analysis of the session transcripts to better understand the experience of the novice programmer learning a new computing concept using Wikipedia. We elicited five themes that capture this experie..

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