37 Million Compilations: Investigating Novice Programming Mistakes in Large-Scale Student Data

Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education

Previous investigations of student errors have typically focused on samples of hundreds of students at individual institutions. This work uses a year's worth of compilation events from over 250,000 students all over the world, taken from the large Blackbox data set. We analyze the frequency, time-to-fix, and spread of errors among users, showing how these factors inter-relate, in addition to their development over the course of the year. These results can inform the design of courses, textbooks and also tools to target the most frequent (or hardest to fix) errors.

Amjad Altadmri
Neil C.C. Brown

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