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Nontrivial Pursuit [microform] : The Hidden Complexity of Elementary Logo Programming. Technical Report / D. N. Perkins and Others
Bib ID 5493404
Format BookBook, MicroformMicroform, OnlineOnline
Perkins, D. N
Online Versions
Description [Washington, D.C.] : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1986 
29 p. 

The thinking processes of students of Logo were examined to identify programming problems and possible instructional remedies. Subjects were 11 students between the ages of 8 and 12 who had completed 5 weeks of Logo instruction. These students were given a series of five short programming problems highlighting such areas of difficulty as judging angles, deciding on the directions of turns, using a variable, and using a subprocedure. The data collected included notes taken by the experimenter recording program errors, attempted repairs, and code written by students. A coding system was used to provide a measure of students' successes and errors in terms of the number of elements in a program they programmed correctly and their problem-solving efforts. The success rate in terms of elements correct was high, but success in terms of programs running successfully was lower, and a number of problems with what might be considered trivial aspects of Logo were recorded. A few students evinced serious problems with understanding tasks involving variables and a subprocedure. Possible explanations for the challenge of trivial elements of programming include: (1) the conjunctivity effect of minor problems; (2) a shortfall in elementary problem-solving strategies; (3) difficulty in discriminating concepts with superficial similarity; and (4) domain and domain operation problems. It is concluded that many trivial elements of Logo pose genuine conceptual difficulties, a problem that instruction must face and resolve. (25 references) (MES)


Sponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.

Contract Number: 400-83-0041.


May also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18:

Reproduction Microfiche. [Washington D.C.]: ERIC Clearinghouse microfiches : positive. 
Subjects Cognitive Processes.  |  Difficulty Level.  |  Elementary Education.  |  Problem Solving.  |  Programing.  |  Psychological Studies.  |  LOGO Programing Language
Form/genre Reports, Research.
Other authors/contributors Educational Technology Center, Cambridge, MA
Available From ERIC 


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