Investigating high school students' computing beliefs

Daniel Heersink, Barbara Moskal, Wanda Dann, Alka Herriger, Steven Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Many projects throughout the United States are underway that seek to increase the appeal of computing as a field of study. This article reports the results of pre and post attitudes surveys which were administered before and after two interventions. One of the interventions was designed to change students' attitudes with respect to computer science and the other with respect to information technology. The two attitude surveys, as well as the interventions, differed primarily in the focus on computer science or information technology. Based on prior research using a factor analysis, the computer science survey successfully measures five constructs: confidence, interest, gender, usefulness, and professional stereotypes. Although the information technology instrument was designed to measure these same constructs, a factor analysis supports that this instrument measures a gender and general category construct, possibly indicating that students have a limited understanding of the field of information technology. The results from the current study indicate that for high school students, male attitudes were more strongly impacted by the computer science intervention whereas female attitudes were more strongly impacted by the information technology intervention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2010
Event2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Louisville, KY, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2010Jun 23 2010


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