Student evaluations of courses across many Australian universities typically give students the option to comment on the best aspects of a course and those aspects that they believe need improving. Such comments have been collated from students in introductory programming courses at four Australian universities. In this paper we present the results of a thematic analysis to see whether there are common themes to the areas students consider most in need of improvement. We have undertaken this study to gain an understanding of the student concerns in introductory programming courses, in the expectation that a framework could be developed to assist academics with reviewing their courses in subsequent offerings. We have found that at all institutions the main focuses of student comments are the course as a whole and the assessment, although at different universities the comments focus on different aspects of these items
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