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From barriers to learning in the idea garden: An empirical study

TitleFrom barriers to learning in the idea garden: An empirical study
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCao, J., I. Kwan, R. White, S. D. Fleming, M. M. Burnett, and C. Scaffidi
Conference Name2012 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC)
Pagination59 - 66
Date Published10/2012
Conference LocationInnsbruck, Austria
ISBN Number978-1-4673-0851-9
Keywordsend-user programming, idea garden, learning

How can end-user programming environments better help their users overcome programming barriers? We have been investigating an approach called Idea Gardening, which addresses this problem by helping end users to help themselves overcome barriers in the context of “doing”. In this paper, we report on a qualitative empirical study of how effectively an Idea Garden prototype helped end users overcome programming barriers in the CoScripter environment, and the extent to which participants learned after interacting with our features. Our results showed that 9 out of 10 participants who encountered barriers and then used the Idea Garden, overcame their barriers. Further, all 9 went on to demonstrate evidence of having learned the programming concepts, patterns, and strategies relevant to overcoming these barriers.