AuthorsR. Thomas, A. Karahasanovic and G. Kennedy
TitleAn Investigation Into Keystroke Metrics As an Indicator of Programming Performance
AfilliationSoftware Engineering, Software Engineering
Publication TypeProceedings, refereed
Year of Publication2005
Conference NameProceedings of the Australian Computing Education Conference 2005, Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology, Vol. 42, Newcastle, Australia, January 31-February 3
PublisherAustralian Computer Society, Inc
ISBN Number1-920682-24-4

Typing has long been studied in psychology and HCI, and strong cognitive models for transcription typing exist. However work on keystroke latencies has not yielded a stand alone technique for identity authentication. We present the results from two very different experiments with computer science students. Keystroke timings were recorded while they worked on Ada or Java source code. Programming quality of their finished work was measured mainly in terms of completeness. In the controlled experiment, 39 students undertook two tasks over more than 2 hours to modify an application consisting of 6000 lines of Java. In the field study experiment, data was collected over 6 weeks from 141 students while they worked unsupervised on Ada programming in first year laboratories. In both cases there were highly significant (P=0.001), but weak, negative correlations between speed and coding performance. With additional development, these techniques may have promise for user modelling and assessment as well as in educational diagnostics.

Citation KeyThomas.2005.1