Teachers' diagnostic and intervention skills in debugging

About the project

Debugging is a key issue in computer science education that often challenges teachers, especially when providing individualized student support. Because novice programmers have difficulty finding and fixing bugs in program code, teachers often rush from student to student to help. In a short time, a teacher has to provide individualized assistance to a student; he or she must first diagnose the specific problem and why the student cannot solve it independently. The teacher must then select an appropriate intervention that solves the problem and promotes the student's independence in debugging. An effective and efficient diagnostic and intervention process for debugging in the classroom can support teachers in their daily work and promote student independence. However, diagnostic and intervention skills in debugging have not been a standard part of teacher training, nor have they been researched. Nevertheless, diagnostic and intervention skills are essential elements of teacher professionalism. This research project aims to investigate teachers' diagnostic and intervention process during debugging, identify relevant characteristics, and develop methods to promote the necessary skills. The results will then be used for teacher training and professional development.


Morales-Navarro, L., Kafai, Y., Brennan, K., Haduong,P., Venkatasubramanian, Y., Michaeli, T., Hennig, H., Weintrop, D., Tsan, J., Franklin, D., Jimenez, Y., Elliott, C., Schneider, M., Bush, J., Fields, D., Recker, M., Nixon, J., Castro, F., Desportes, K., Smith, C., Tissenbaum, M., Bawankule, A., Hopping, D., Holbert, N., Blikstein, P., Correa, I., Danzig, B., Zikovitz, D. & Berland, M (2023). Productive Designs for Successful Failure: Constructionist Perspectives on Supporting Personally Meaningful and Culturally Empowered Learning and Teaching. Proceedings of Constructionism 2023.

Hennig, H. & Michaeli, T (2023). Entwicklung eines Prozessmodells für Diagnose- und Intervention von Lehrkräften beim Debugging. 20. GI-Fachtagung Informatik und Schule, Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn.

Hennig, H. & Michaeli, T. (2022). Investigating Teachers’ Diagnostic and Intervention Skills in Debugging. Proceedings of the 17th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, ACM.