Teaching Java Backwards, Computers and Education, vol. 48 no. 3 pp 396-408, April 2007

Teaching programming concepts in a more object-oriented way is a growing trend in Computer Science education. This paper takes the idea of abstraction-first teaching a step further, by using Bloom's Taxonomy to design a course to present factual content early, followed by higher-level cognitive skills. In the course described here, factual content was covered rapidly, then reinforced by assignments, laboratory sessions and tutorials, aimed at building higher cognitive skills. The resulting course was successful in relatively rapidly bringing a class doing a “bridging” diploma up to the level required for dealing with a second-year course. As compared with previous runs of the diploma where much more time was spent in preparation for advanced courses, the class using the new approach performed better, suggesting that the approach used is worthy of further study.

(draft PDF 183K – published version in journal: significant clarifications and improvements but substance the same)