Students in first-year computing courses deal with programming problems that can be solved through various solutions that organize the problem's tasks in different ways. Selecting among these organizations of code or program plans and implementing them depends on various factors such as prior knowledge of solutions and features of programming languages used. Additionally, problem solving through effective program planning continues to be difficult for students; instruction in many first-year courses focuses on low-level constructs without discussing higher-level plans and students are left to figure out strategies for problem decomposition and code composition on their own. My research explores ways to teach planning strategies effectively so students will be able to learn to apply these strategies as well as transfer the use of these strategies across problems.
F.E.V.G. Castro. Pedagogy and Measurement of Program Planning Skills. International Computing Education Research (Melbourne, Australia. 8-12 September 2016)