Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Perserverance measures and attainment in first year computing science students.

McDermott, Roger; Daniels, Mats; Cajander, Åsa


Roger McDermott

Mats Daniels

Åsa Cajander


We investigate the link between concepts of perseverance such as conscientiousness and grit, and the academic attainment of first year computing students. We review the role that perseverance plays in learning models, as well as describing the trait of conscientiousness in the Five Factor Model of personality. We outline research that links this trait with academic success, before focussing on more recent, narrower conceptualisations of perseverance such as academic tenacity and grit. We describe one of the questionnaire tools that have been used to assess the construct of grit. We give details of an investigation that looked for correlations between student responses to Duckworth's Grit Survey, the Big Five Inventory (BFI) Personality Survey and summative attainment scores in a first year programming course. The results suggest a weak but significant correlation between conscientiousness, grit and programming achievement. We discuss these results as well as the limitations of the method used. Finally, we make some observations about the importance of these concepts in Computer Science education and outline further work in this area.

Start Date Jul 4, 2015
Publication Date Jun 22, 2015
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
Pages 302-307
Institution Citation MCDERMOTT, R., DANIELS, M. and CAJANDER, A. 2015. Perserverance measures and attainment in first year computing science students. In Proceedings of the 2015 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Innovation and technology in computer science education conference (ITiCSE '15), 4-8 July 2015, Vilnius, Lithuania. New York: ACM [online], pages 302-307. Available from:
Keywords Perseverance; Grit; Conscientiousness; Personality traits; Programming


You might also like

Downloadable Citations