Students’ beliefs about computer programming predict their computational thinking and computer programming self-efficacy

Silvia Wen Yu Lee, Jyh Chong Liang, Chung Yuan Hsu, Meng Jung Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


While research has shown that students’ epistemic beliefs can be a strong predictor of their academic performance, cognitive abilities, or self-efficacy, studies of this topic in computer education are rare. The purpose of this study was twofold. First, it aimed to validate a newly developed questionnaire for measuring students’ epistemic beliefs about computer programming at middle school level. Second, the study aimed to understand how students’ epistemic beliefs predict their computational thinking disposition and computer programming self-efficacy. A total of 406 middle school students completed a survey consisting of three research instruments: the Computer Programming Epistemic Belief Inventory (CPEBI), the Computational Thinking Scale (CTS), and the Computer Programming Self-Efficacy Scale (CPSES). The results indicated that the epistemic belief of “uncertainty” was a significant and positive predictor of the “abstraction” and “generalization” dimensions of computational thinking dispositions. In addition, the belief of “complexity” was an antecedent to three dimensions of computational thinking, namely, “algorithmic thinking,” “evaluation,” and “generalization.” Only the “evaluation” dimension of CT disposition had significant and positive relationships with “programming self-efficacy.” The roles of “uncertainty” and “complexity” of computer programming epistemic beliefs are discussed. Implications and suggestions for future computer programming education, especially for young students, are provided.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Computer programming
  • computational thinking
  • epistemic belief
  • scale development
  • self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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