Developing Novice Programmers' Self-Regulation Skills with Code Replays


Learning programming benefits from self-regulation, but novices lack support for developing these skills of cognitive control. To support their development, we designed Code Replayer, an online tool that enables novice programmers to practice programming and then replay their coding process to reflect and identify process improvements. To evaluate the impact of replaying code on self-regulation, we conducted a formative qualitative evaluation with 21 novice programmers who used Code Replayer to practice writing code. We found that after watching code replays, participants more frequently interpreted problem prompts and planned their solutions, two crucial self-regulation behaviors that novices often overlook. We interpret our results by focusing on two focal points in the design of code replays as a programming self-regulation intervention: interpreting pauses in replays and ensuring replays of struggle are more informative and less detrimental.

ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research