This research investigates university students’ success in their first programming course (CS1) in relation to their motivation, mathematical ability, programming self-efficacy, and initial goal setting. To our knowledge, these constructs have not been measured in a single study before in the Finnish context. The selection of the constructs is in line with the statistical model that predicts student performance (“PreSS”) (Quille and Bergin, 2018). The constructs are compared with various demographic and background variables, such as study major, prior programming experience, and average weekly working hours. Some of the main results of this study are as follows: (1) students generally entered with a high interest in programming and high motivation, but these factors did not increase during the course, i.e., interest in programming did not increase. (2) Having prior experience yielded higher initial programming self-efficacy, grade expectations, and spending less time on tasks, but not better grades (although worse neither). While these results can be seen as preliminary (and alarming in some parts), they give rise to future research for investigating possible expectation–performance gaps in CS1 and later CS studies. As our dataset accumulates, we also hope to be able to construct a valid success prediction model.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become hugely popular recently. MOOCs can offer high-quality education for anyone interested and equalize the whole education field. Still, there are different methodologies for running MOOCs. Coming up with the most suitable methodology benefits both students and teachers. In this study, we have limited the methodological focus to observing scheduled and unscheduled instances of similar MOOC courses. While unscheduled MOOC courses can provide flexibility, they also require self-regulated learning strategies for students to succeed. To observe this, we compare the effectiveness of scheduled and unscheduled programming MOOC courses to find the most effective methodology. For this, we compare the pass rates and grade averages of five instances (two unscheduled and three scheduled) of Python and Java programming MOOCs. The results show that while the attendance numbers are higher in the unscheduled versions, in the scheduled instances the pass rate is significantly better, and students’ progression is much swifter. It also seems that the higher proportion of university students enrolled in a MOOC course positively affects the retention rate. Moreover, the students in the recent unscheduled Python version seem to score significantly higher grades than in its scheduled counterpart. Based on our experiments, the scheduled and unscheduled versions complement each other. Hence, we suggest that, whenever feasible, the maximal benefits would be gained if both types of MOOCs are run simultaneously.
Programming is one of the most important aspects of a Computing course. Teaching programming is a challenging task due to a number of factors, ranging from lack of student problem solving skills to different teaching methods. This paper focuses on Maltese Computing teachers’ perspectives about the difficulties encountered when teaching programming to secondary school students in order to determine whether introducing programming to secondary school students through creating mobile-based games is an effective method to teach programming constructs. A resource pack consisting of various activities using MIT App Inventor 2 was created which incorporated constructivist approaches to teaching. This resource pack was reviewed by the teachers and their feedback was collected by means of a case study. The teachers agreed that developing mobile-based games would be highly stimulating to their students but there were uncertainties how this would affect students with different learning abilities and due to a general lack of computational thinking and problem-solving skills by most students.
The purpose of this systematic literature review is to explore the area of digital Game-Based Learning (GBL) for students with intellectual disabilities as a tool that enables positive impact on learning and mastering specific skills in order to make recommendations for future research. Twenty-one studies were selected from different databases. The results showed that the most common type of game was serious game, and the most common used technology was PC with additional equipment, but tablets were also often used. In addition, the studies were more focused on the development of cognitive abilities rather than of adaptive skills.
Programming is one of the basic subjects in most informatics, computer science mathematics and technical faculties' curricula. Integrated overview of the models for teaching programming, problems in teaching and suggested solutions were presented in this paper. Research covered current state of 1019 programming subjects in 715 study programmes at total of 218 faculties and 143 universities in 35 European countries that were analyzed. It was concluded that while most of the programmes highly support object-oriented paradigm of programming, introductory programming subjects are mainly based on imperative paradigm.