Empowering Novice Coders: Integrating Artificial Intelligence Tools in an Introductory Computer Programming Course
Diana Linville Northwest Missouri State University
Crystal Combs Northwest Missouri State Universtiy
Abstract Artificial Intelligence tools are continuously advancing, and educators have observed an increase in student utilization of these tools to fulfill coursework. As educators, we have a choice: we can either resist the advancement of AI or embrace its potential. By integrating AI into the curriculum, we can equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a world increasingly influenced by AI. The Introductory Computer Programming course consists of undergraduate students who are primarily novice programmers. The authors aim to empower students by teaching them how to analyze and interpret AI-generated code, utilize AI technologies for code development, and apply study strategies. Through a critical examination of generated code, students can gain insights into the underlying algorithms, identify potential limitations of AI tools, and become aware of their own limited coding proficiency. Applying AI techniques, students can streamline the development process and unlock new possibilities in programming, enabling them to assess its effectiveness in solving a given problem. Exploring effective strategies for studying with AI tools enhances students understanding of programming concepts. The purpose of these objectives is to showcase the capabilities of AI for certain tasks, while simultaneously enlightening students about the significance of cultivating their programming skills and deepening their understanding of coding principles. Exposing students to these different scenarios gives them practical experience to make informed decisions and prepares them for future career opportunities in AI-driven industries. Details of the design and implementation of these scenarios within the course will be provided.