Constructivism in Computing

We have conducted a number of research projects since 2005, all with the same basic goal of identifying the commonsense knowledge beginners bring to the study of CS. Our motivation is the constructivist theory about how people learn, starting with what they already know and building knowledge on that foundation, rather than receiving it passively from an instructor.

Constructivist learning theory says that learning is grounded in and constructed from prior understanding and belief. Each learner's background, culture, and previous knowledge define his or her starting point. In order to explore the prior understanding and belief of beginning computer science students, the Commonsense Computing Project asks students to answer computer science questions on the first day of their first course.

What We Know...

...And What We're Working On Now