A threshold concept can be expressed as being comparable to a gateway, the realisation of an unfamiliar and once unattainable way of thinking about a significant concept within a discipline. It is considered as a “transformed way of understanding, or interpreting, or viewing something without which the learner cannot progress. As a consequence of comprehending a threshold concept there may thus be a transformed internal view of subject matter, subject landscape, or even world view. This transformation may be sudden or it may be protracted over a considerable period, with the transition to understanding proving troublesome ” (H.F. Meyer and R Land, 2006, p.3). An example in Java programming, the array is the accepted standard to store more than one variable, it is virtually practised universally. But the concept, when grasped, tends to be “ritual knowledge” (Perkins 1999). It doesn’t have to be understood, one just has to do it. Thus it is not a threshold concept. But the understanding as to why the method has been widely adopted since its invention (the use of arrays reduce the sum of many variable ito one compact variable which is easy to understand and practise) essentially changes one’s perception about Arrays. Meyer and Land (2006) would define this particular threshold concept as being “transformative”. They also define threshold concepts as being “integrative’’, they bond together ideas that were once unfamiliar to the student. “Irreversible”, they are tough for the student to forget. Probably “troublesome”,the concepts are difficult to follow. Generally “boundary markers”, pinpointing the limits of a concept. Programming is a rapidly evolving discipline; since the development of the C programming language by Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan in 1970 and the release of the Java language by Sun Microsystems in 1995; only now have we extensively studied the ways in which students learn and thus introduce approaches which will help them most effectively. The application of variation theory in teaching and learning can be used to enhance the understanding of a concept by utilizing variations in relation to its core concepts to form the space of learning. Marton et al. 2003 have defined the patterns of variations that are regarded to be important: Contrast: In order to experience something, a person must experience something else to compare it to. In order to understand what “three” is, for instance, a person must experience something that is not three: “two” or “four”, for example. Generalisation: In order to fully understand what “three” is, we must also experience varying appearances of “three”, for example three apples, three monkeys, three books, and so on. This variation is necessary in order for us to be able to grasp the idea of “threeness” and separate it from irrelevant features (such as the colour of the apples). Separation: In order to experience a certain aspect of something, and in order to separate this aspect from other aspects, it must vary while other aspects remain invariant. Fusion: If there are several critical aspects that the learner has to take into consideration at the same time, they must all be experienced simultaneously. This page is just an introduction and will not have to be repeated. 1
a) I represent the concepts in the way students expect them (via books, lectures, online), you will keep this part brief as you can.
Make sure this is your OWN work. If you get something from the internet, make sure you re-word EVERYRTHING (including code) to make it completely your own. The work will go through plagiarism checks. 1) Arrays – Declaration issues
a) Concept presented to students in the way they expect them to be e.g. via books, lectures etc. An array is a representation of a container object that holds a fixed number of values of a single type. An array can also be described as the key tool in Java programming for the collection of multiple values. Container object:...
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