Threshold Concepts in Computer Science: An Ongoing Empirical Investigation

Carol Zander, Lynda Thomas, Robert McCartney, Anna Eckerdal, Jan Erik Mostrom, Jonas Boustedt, Kate Sanders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We propose “threshold skills” as a complement to threshold concepts. The definition of threshold concepts assumes that theoretical knowledge is paramount: gaining the understanding of particular concepts irreversibly transforms the learners. Mastering computing, like many disciplines, requires, however, learning a combination of concepts and skills. Mathematicians learn to do proofs, musicians learn to play their instruments, and martial artists learn to make moves by doing these activities, not just intellectually understanding them. We propose
some characteristics for threshold skills and outline implications for teaching and for future work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThreshold Concepts And Transformational Learning
EditorsJan H. F. Meyer, Ray Land, Caroline Baillie
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherSense Publishers
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9789460912054
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameEducational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice


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