Introductory programming courses in Australasia in 2016

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Mason, R & Simon 2017, 'Introductory programming courses in Australasia in 2016', Proceedings of the Nineteenth Australasian Computing Education, Geelong, Victoria, January 31 - 3 February, ACM, New York USA. ISBN: 9781450348232

Peer Reviewed



This paper reports on a survey of introductory programming courses in Australia and New Zealand conducted in the first half of 2016. Such surveys have been conducted a number of times in the past 15 years, and we have access to some of the past data to enable us to perform some longitudinal analysis. In the previous iteration of the study, in 2013, Python had joined Java as the dominant language used in introductory programming courses, and student numbers were apparently on the rise, having previously been falling. Those trends are found to continue in 2016, with Python being taught in the same number of courses as Java, but to greater numbers of students; and with a substantial increase in student numbers both overall and averaged per course. We also report on the reasons for the choices of programming languages; on the use of IDEs with the languages (which appears to be falling slightly); on the provision of resources that might help students (which also appears to be falling slightly); on the respondents' aims in their courses; and on considerations of academic integrity in these programming courses.