I. Groher, B. Sabitzer, L. Kuka, H. Demarle-Meusel, A. Hofer: Work-in-Progress: Closing the Gaps - Diversity in Programming Education, IEEE EDUCON2021 – IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, Vienna, Austria, virtual event, April 21-23, 2021.


In our field, programming education for non-computer science students we can observe high diversity among our students, for example, with respect to gender differences, cultural differences, differences with respect to age, educational background, or work experience. Introductory programming courses traditionally face high drop-out rates and poor performance and students often perceive learning to program as difficult. Current research on diversity in programming education has primarily focused on gender differences, thus neglecting the influence of other diversity dimensions on students’ performance. The DIPE project aims to fill this gap by identifying how heterogeneous groups of students can be best supported. We develop a didactic concept with accompanying teaching and learning material to actively support different diversity dimensions in programming education. The concept includes competence models for measuring competences and as a result support individual learning paths. To further support a flat learning curve in university programming courses in the future, we closely work with schools to integrate algorithmic thinking into school curricula. We empirically evaluate our concept using a mixed method approach. In particular, we will explore the effects of our concept in our programming course and will investigate the value of these effects as perceived by lecturers and students.

Work-in-Progress: Closing the Gaps – Diversity in Programming Education