Misconception: In C-based languages, students don’t know when to use and not use pointer derefrences (*) and reference-operators (&).

  • Often, students can explain these entities abstractly without much trouble.
  • Unfortunately, when they go on to write a program, student may try every combination of references and dereferences (& and *), no matter how unnecessary or incorrect.
    • It is normal for students to understand "&" at some stages and then not understand it for a while.
  • Give students a graduated sequence of exercises to help them build confidence and competence in this area. One example of such lab exercises may be found here.

More about this tip

External Source

Interview with Henry Walker