A Tutor for Coding

Tutor (CTAT) Interface for learning to code
Figure 1 – Tutor (CTAT) Interface for learning to code

The main goal of this project was to understand how can a beginner (in coding) became an expert through the lens of cognitive psychology. The final product was a design of a tutoring lesson for writing a function. It may be surprising to know the product took 2 months to complete, given the seemingly low complexity of writing a function. However, the simple act of writing a function, such as the one in the figure above, may not be so simple when we start to break down the cognitive processes involved.

Through Cognitive Task Analysis—that is, what is going on in a person’s thinking from the beginning of a task to its completion—of people with various coding abilitity, we produced the flow chart in figure 2 detailing the thinking that may be involved in completing the task of writing the “hasConsecutive” function. The full project documentation can be view through this PDF on Google Drive.

Figure 2 - Writing a function Cognitive Model
Figure 2 – Writing a function Cognitive Model