Pair programming is a programming technique where two programmers work together on the same programming task. Previous research has shown that it is effective for improving the learning effectiveness, efficiency, and enjoyment of students in introductory programming courses. Much research has also been dedicated to determining effective strategies for forming pairs. This paper discuss two different empirical studies conducted at North Dakota State University to a) test the feasibility of using pair programming in introductory computer science courses and b) determine whether or not major-based pairing produces effective pairs. The results of these studies provide support for implementing pair programming in introductory computer science courses and show that pairing of computer science and non-computer science students may produce pairs which are less compatible than other pairing methods.
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