Recognizing wheel-spinning in a novice programming context within a meaningful gamification system

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science


Information Systems & Computer Science

First Advisor

Rodrigo, Ma. Mercedes T., Ph.D.


Wheel-spinning refers to failure to master a skill in a timely manner or after a considerable number of practice opportunities. This research aims to explore the existence of wheel-spinning in the context of programming using an existing data set of a Meaningful Gamification System and develop a wheel-spinning model. Also, we want to find out what programming skills are involved and on which skills do students show more incidence of wheel-spinning. Past contexts in which wheel-spinning has been studied using other educational systems are discussed including the findings of prior studies. We also discuss the methods in recognizing the existence of wheel-spinning, identifying skills, developing the model, identifying features that contribute to wheel-spinning, and model validation and evaluation. We have found out that novice programmers wheel-spin in program generation skill, and skills involving tracing and variables. In this study, we are able to build 7 wheel-spinning models and have identified the indicators of wheel-spinning where several consecutive mistakes contributes more to wheel-spinning. Lastly, we have evaluated the wheel-spinning models and 6 of them have high model evaluation metric scores and good in recognizing wheel-spinning.


The C7.F566 2018