December 19, 2008

An observation from my study data

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:21 pm by carolynresearch

I was going through my notes and transcripts from my study, and noticed something odd. When the students were trying to figure out the Promela code I gave them, they talked about what “whoever wrote the code” was trying to do, or meant to do.

For example, I asked them to identify the problem in and fix a critical section algorithm. Once one student figured out that it was possible to have both processes in the critical section, he said that whoever wrote this algorithm was just trying to slow down the running of the process to have the processes end up out of synch.

It’s interesting, and somewhat confusing. With TA-ing and my study, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the details of how undergrads approach problems. There’s a lot of little details that I don’t understand – and more and more I find differences in the way different people reason about code.


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