Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Secondary, Post Secondary and Vocational Education

Number of Pages



Pupose of the Study. The purpose of this study was to determine factors which effectively predict success in a first course for computer science majors. A secondary goal was to provide a model of the successful computer science student in order to improve teaching and learning in the classroom; Procedures. The sample consisted of 58 students enrolled in all three sections of Computer Science I, during Spring semester, 1985. Student characteristics selected included age, sex, previous high school and college grades, number of high school and college mathematics classes, number of hours worked, and whether the job was computer-related or involved programming. A measure of Piagetian cognitive development developed by Kurtz, the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) and the Myers-Briggs Personality Index (MBTI) were administered early in the semester. These measures were correlated with the student's letter grade in the class using both Chi Square and Pearson's Product Moment Coefficient statistical tests; Findings. Significant relationships were found between grade and the students' previous college grades and the number of high school mathematics classes (p < .05). The correlation between grade, and both number of hours worked and working as a programmer, approached significance (p < .10). Both the Group Embedded Figures Test (p < .01) and the measure of Piagetian Intellectual Development stages (p < .05) were also significantly correlated with grade in this rigorous Pascal programming class; While there was no relationship between the personality type and grade, the Myers-Briggs results provided an interesting profile of the computer science major. On the Extroversion-Introversion, Sensing-Intuitive, and Thinking-Feeling indices, the students were considerably more introverted, intuitive and thinking than the population as a whole, though they were close to national norms on the Perception-Judging index. While computer science students were somewhat like engineering students, they more strongly resembled chess players, when these results were compared with other studies.


Beginning; Class; Cognitive; Computer; Performance; Personality; Piaget; Piagetpersonality; Predicting; Science; Students; Style

Controlled Subject


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5509.12 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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