The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

TOPS – Collaboration and Competition to Stretch our Most Able Programming Novices

White, S A, Carter, Janet, Jamieson, Stephan, Efford, Nick and Jenkins, Tony (2006) TOPS – Collaboration and Competition to Stretch our Most Able Programming Novices At 37th Annual ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education. 11 - 13 Oct 2007. , pp. 21-24.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Finding effective means of meeting students’ varied needs during introductory programming classes is a perpetual challenge. Maintaining motivation and a sufficient level of engagement across an undergraduate group with diverse prior experience is not a simple task. Claims for successful approaches include forms of differentiated teaching and paired programming. Competitions run by professional bodies and the software industry are often used to provide further external motivation. This paper presents the outcomes of a collaborative initiative across four universities which drew on aspects of both these approaches. Academics in the partner institutions had already implemented specific practice to accommodate the variety of student needs. The TOPS project was designed to involve and extend students through the processes of devising and competing in an inter-university challenge. Analysis of the outcomes has enabled the development of further understanding and good practice in this important area.

PDF saw_et_al__TOPS_FIE_2007_Paper_Milwaukee.pdf - Other
Available under License Other.
Download (168kB)
PDF saw_et_al__TOPS_FIE_2007_Presentation_9up_Milwaukee.pdf - Other
Available under License Other.
Download (240kB)
PDF saw_et_al__TOPS_FIE_2007_Presentation_Milwaukee.pdf - Other
Available under License Other.
Download (1MB)

More information

Published date: October 2006
Additional Information: Event Dates: October 11th-13th October 2007
Venue - Dates: 37th Annual ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education, 2007-10-11 - 2007-10-13
Keywords: active learning, computer science education, paired programming, student motivation.
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science


Local EPrints ID: 265019
ISBN: 1-4244-1084-3/07
PURE UUID: 04b58826-7daf-4812-9e9d-2caf06ee8c70
ORCID for S A White: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 31 Jan 2008 14:58
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 07:30

Export record


Author: S A White ORCID iD
Author: Janet Carter
Author: Stephan Jamieson
Author: Nick Efford
Author: Tony Jenkins

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.