The alice curriculum: Impact on women in programming courses

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Conference Proceeding

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The recruitment and retention of women to the field of Computer Science is a concern that has received a great deal of research attention. In particular, the number of women majoring in Computer Science has decreased over the last fifteen years, and remained low over the past five years. These continuing trends are contributing to a shortage of qualified professionals in computer science. One cause may be that traditional introductory programming courses have been found to have a greater appeal to men than to women. In addition, many women who enroll in introductory computing courses often have less previous programming experience than men. These factors negatively impact many women's attitudes towards programming, leading them to drop a computer science major. This paper discusses an effort to combat the problem of female attrition at the community college level by offering an innovative introductory programming course. Course implementation and data collection occurred during the fall 2004. Paired t-tests and analysis of covariance were used to evaluate whether changes had taken place for men and women with respect to learning and attitudes. This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (DUE-03020542). © American Society for Engineering Education, 2006.

Publication Name

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

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