Knowledge transfer in pair programming: An in-depth analysis

Laura Plonka, Helen Sharp, Janet van der Linden, Yvonne Dittrich
<span title="">2015</span> <i title="Elsevier BV"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">International Journal of Human-Computer Studies</a> </i> &nbsp;
Whilst knowledge transfer is one of the most widely-claimed benefits of pair programming, little is known about how knowledge transfer is achieved in this setting. This is particularly pertinent for novice−expert constellations, but knowledge transfer takes place to some degree in all constellations. We ask "what does it take to be a good "expert" and how can a "novice" best learn from a more experienced developer?". An in-depth investigation of video and audio excerpts of professional pair
more &raquo; ... ramming sessions using Interaction Analysis reveals six teaching strategies ranging from giving direct instructions to subtle hints, and challenges and benefits for both partners. These strategies are instantiations of some but not all teaching methods promoted in cognitive apprenticeship; novice articulation, reflection and exploration are not seen in the data. The context of pair programming influences the strategies, challenges and benefits, in particular the roles of driver and navigator and agile prioritisation which considers business value rather than educational progression. Utilising these strategies more widely and recognizing the challenges and benefits for both partners will help developers to maximise the benefits from pairing sessions. Author Response: I understand from the IJHCS editorial office that we do not need to respond to this, e.g. by including the reviewer in acknowledgements Judgment: This work asks three research questions the answers of which have practical applicability and manages to provide answers for all of them that are both understandable and tangible. The research uses a qualitative method based on a rather small amount of data (less than 30 minutes of live action) and so the completeness of the results is unlikely and the generalizability is unclear. However, the approach and discussion are very convincing and the validity and credibility of the results are very high. The article is nicely readable overall. The writeup has many small problems (see the detailed comments), but no large ones. I nevertheless ask the authors to consider my suggestion ##E##. My only two criticisms of substantial weight concern one conclusion that I find unwarrantedly negative (see detailed comment ##A##) and a terminological problem: Although the whole article revolves around expert-novice relationships, these two concepts are defined only in a highly fuzzy manner (see detailed comment ##N##, also ##S##). My overall perception is very positive and I am sure that this work ought to be published eventually. However, as the number of issues is large and at least the terminological problem is important, I still suggest to ask the authors for a major revision first. Detailed comments (formulated chronologically while reading): Comment Author Response Abstract: "reveals six teaching strategies ranging from giving direct instructions to subtle hints, and challenges and benefits for both partners" The last part of this sentence does not quite fit in. Punctuation changed to clarify meaning
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2014.09.001</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:fajxyggsvzfrfpocz6btsd6vxq</a> </span>
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