Type: Review Article
Purpose: The purpose of this literature review is to provide a brief background in the recent drop of computer science interest for undergraduates, the challenges "novice" student programmers face, and the presentation of seven introductory tools to assist "novice" programmers.
Findings: The seven "novice" programming environments discussed in this article include: Alice, Jeroo, Scratch, RAPTOR, JHAVE, Game Maker & Baltie. Some of these programming environments have begun to provide evidence for increased levels of programming performance, increased interest and confidence in programming and increased retention is subsequent higher-level CS courses. There are several tools within each of these environments that can help "novices" learn to program. These include: narrative tools, visual programming tools, flow-model tools, specialized output realizations, and tiered language tools.