Role of Plans and Planning in Program Development

Role of Plans and Planning in Program Development

Post by Lai-Chong L » Wed, 06 Mar 1996 04:00:00



*************************************************************************
    Institut fuer Empirische Paedagogik und Paedagogische Psychologie
               Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen
                          Leopoldstr. 13
                          80802 Muenchen

Dear Newsgroup-readers,

I am pursuing my doctoral studies under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Mandl
in the Institute for Educational Psychology of the University of Munich.
My research project is to investigate the role of plans and planning in
actions.  Now I attempt to gather some ideas regarding the characteristics
of good plans (i.e. a sequence of operations relating to a specific goal)
and planning (i.e. the process of developing a plan).  Since plans and
planning are crucial for computer programming and other cognitive
activities, it is particularly interesting and important to find out how
computer scientists differ from psychologists in perceiving the related
problems.  To meet the aforementioned purposes, the present questionnaire
has been developed.  Could you please give your valuable opinions to the
following questions and send the completed questionnaire back to me via
email latest by 31.3.96?  Your precious help is much appreciated!!
Your data will certainly be processed in strict confidence.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely,
Effie Lai-Chong Law

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Instructions for filling in the questionnaire
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
# Please set your editor to OVERWRITE-mode.
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# For multiple-choice questions - "( )" - please mark the appropriate
  category with an "x" Example: "(x) under 20"
# Please notice that some of the questions are not applicable to you.
  In this case, an indication "-> go to QUESTION x" will be given.
  Please jump directly to that question and leave the irrelevant ones
  blank.

...... Have fun!

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Questionnaire: Characteristics of Good Plans and Planning
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1. Please give some examples of problems which can best be solved without
   plans.                                          ^^^^           ^^^^^^^

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2. Please give some examples of problems which can best be solved with
   plans.                                          ^^^^           ^^^^

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3. Please suggest the characteristics of the plan and planning by which ONE
   of the problems named in (2) can be solved efficiently and effectively.
   Please state the problem to which you refer.

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4. Do you have any experience in computer programming?
      ( ) yes
      ( ) no (-> go to QUESTION 8)

5. How would you evaluate your programming competence?
      ( ) expert
      ( ) intermediate
      ( ) beginner

6. How important are plans and planning for:

(a) Developing a program
 not at all                                                          very
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

(b) Debugging a program written by oneself
                                   ^^^^^^^
 not at all                                                          very
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

(b) Debugging a program written by others
                                   ^^^^^^
 not at all                                                          very
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

7. Please suggest the characteristics of the plan and planning by which a
   computer program can be developed efficiently and effectively.

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8. The following dimensions represent some characteristics of plans and
   planning.  Where should a good plan and planning for A PARTICULAR PROBLEM
   be found on each of the scales?  Please mark an 'x' at an appropriate
   position on the scale concerned.  Please give a short explanation for
   your choice.

Please describe THE PARTICULAR PROBLEM to which you refer when you answer the
questions (a) - (h) below.

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(a) Planning time
   short                                                            long
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7
    Please suggest an optimal ratio of planning time to
    implementation time: ______

Remark:_____________________________________________________

(b) Fine-grainedness/Detailedness
   low                                                              high
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

(c) Completeness
   low                                                              high
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

(d) Correctness (referring to the problem specification)
   low                                                              high
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

(e) Complexity
   low                                                              high
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

(f) Sequentiality/Linearity
   low                                                              high
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

(g) Stability (inertia of a plan during the planning stage)
   low                                                              high
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

(h) Consistency with the related actions
   low                                                              high
    |----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
    1          2          3          4          5          6          7

Remark:_____________________________________________________

9. How do plans and planning contribute to efficient problem solving?
   (more than one choice is possible)
   ( ) to control the related actions
   ( ) to organize the related processes in a systematic way
   ( ) to focus the attention on the relevant information
   ( ) to evaluate the alternative means and select the best one
   ( ) to reduce the complexity of the problem solving process
   ( ) to estimate the chance of success
   ( ) others:_____________________________________________________________

   ________________________________________________________________________

10. Please give other comments and/or opinions on the topic of plans and
    planning.

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Finally, I would like to request some personal information about you:

11. Age:
    ( ) under 20
    ( ) 20 - 29
    ( ) 30 - 40
    ( ) over 40

12. Level of education/ Profession:

   ________________________________________

13. Major :  ___________________________________

14. Gender: ( ) male      ( ) female

15. Would you like to receive a summary of the results of this survey via
    email ?  (  ) yes      ( ) no

****************** End of the Questionnaire *********************

Please send the Questionnaire back to the following email address latest by
31.3.1996:
^^^^^^^^^
                l...@mip.paed.uni-muenchen.de

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR COOPERATION!!

Effie Lai-Chong Law