Introductory programming courses in Australia and New Zealand in 2013: trends and reasons

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Mason, R & Cooper, G 2014, 'Introductory programming courses in Australia and New Zealand in 2013: trends and reasons', Proceedings of the Sixteenth Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE2014), Auckland, NZ, 20-23 January, Australian Computer Society Inc., Sydney, NSW, pp. 139-147.

Available on Open Access


This paper reports the results of a survey of 38 introductory programming courses in Australian and New Zealand universities, conducted in the first half of 2013. Results of this survey are compared with a survey conducted in 2010 on Australian universities and two other previous studies conducted in 2001 and 2003. Trends in student numbers, programming paradigm, programming languages and environment/tools used, as well as the reasons for choice of such are reported. Other aspects of first programming courses such as instructor experience, external delivery of courses and resources given to students are also examined. The results indicate a trend towards the adoption of Python for Introductory Computer Programming courses and that this language is being used in a structured approach for programming. Introductory computer programming courses that focus upon an Object Orientated approach predominantly use Java.