John, N., & Ruiz, J. (2015). Student response to teaching of memory cues and resumption strategies in computer science classes. In Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE '15) (pp. 6-11). Kansas City, MO: ACM.


Type: Empirical

Purpose: The purpose of the article was to determine if computer science undergraduate students are affected by interruptions, the prior knowledge the students possess regarding memory cues and resumption strategies, and their opinions in learning memory strategies to be more productive.

Findings: CS students reported (M=15.12 minutes, SD= 12.72) resumption lag time. Nearly 50% of respondents reported that distractions and understanding the requirements contributed to them being productive or unproductive. Seventy-three percent reported not knowing any memory cues or resumption strategies that they use in their coursework. On a scale of 1-10, students found the seminar on memory cues and resumption strategies useful (M=6.25, SD=2.09). In terms of using the memory cues and resumption strategies after the seminar, students who considered using the techniques (M=7.41, SD=2.02), and those who liked the idea of memory cues and resumption strategies being presented in the CS curriculum (M=7.78, SD=1.93). Welch t-tests were conducted on the six continuous rating scale questions to examine differences between those who reported have prior knowledge and those who did not. Findings indicate some statistical differences did occur between the two groups.

Recommendations: The first recommendation was to create a study to determine the topics most valuable to CS students to help them be more productive in their studies. The second recommendation is to merge the creating process to CS and cognitive psychology and apply it to programming.


Sample Size: 198

Participant Type: 198 computer science undergraduate students