One of the essential elements of a successful organization is information technology, which has as its basis effective and efficient software development. The foundation of software development is computer programming. The last decade of computer programming education has been dominated by the object-oriented paradigm. While recent anecdotal accounts among computer science and computer information systems educators have often favored the objects-first approach to programming instruction (vis-a-vis the structures-first approach), very little empirical evidence has been offered. A field study by Johnson and Moses (2008) suggested that the objects-first approach is superior, but the experimental design was open to criticism. This replication study significantly improves upon the experimental design yielding results that indicate neither the objects-first or the structures-first approach is preferred. While an inconclusive result may seem unimportant, it does provide needed guidance to educators to make pedagogical decisions based on other perhaps more important factors to help ensure the students' success. On the positive side, the study does suggest that learning object-oriented programming is more difficult for novices than learning procedural programming, which is also important for programming educators.
Johnson, Richard A. and Moses, Duane R.
"Objects-First Vs. Structures-First Approaches To 00 Programming Education: A Replication Study,"
Journal of Business & Leadership: Research, Practice, and Teaching (2005-2012): Vol. 7
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/jbl/vol7/iss1/5