The use of a multimedia lesson to increase novice programmers' understanding of programming array concepts

Outlet Title

Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-1-2004


The methods used to teach introductory computer programming to college students are becoming outdated. The use of a multimedia lesson, delivered prior to classroom lectures or following classroom instruction was investigated for its effectiveness in developing the mental models of students. This was a quantitative study of the effects of a multimedia lesson on the mental models and conceptual knowledge of novice computer programming students in an introductory programming course. One group received a multimedia lesson prior to lectures. The other group received instruction prior to using the lesson. The order of the treatment made a significant difference on their pretest or posttest scores. Both groups saw significant gains in their posttest scores. Students in both groups also experienced significant improvement in their mental models of programming arrays.