Replication in computing education research: researcher attitudes and experiences

Replicability is a core principle of the scientific method. However, several scientific disciplines have suffered crises in confidence caused, in large part, by attitudes toward replication. This work reports on the value the computing education research community associates with studies that aim to replicate, reproduce or repeat earlier research. The results were obtained from a survey of 73 computing education researchers. An analysis of the responses confirms that researchers in our field hold many of the same biases as those in other fields experiencing a crisis in replication. In particular, researchers agree that original works - novel works that report new phenomena - have more impact and are more prestigious. They also agree that originality is an important criteria for accepting a paper, making such work more likely to be published. Furthermore, while the respondents agree that published work should be verifiable, they doubt this standard is widely met in the computing education field and are not eager to perform the work of verifying others' work themselves.