In the same way that natural languages influence and shape the way we think, programming languages have a profound impact on the way a programmer analyzes a problem and formulates its solution in the form of a program. To the extent that a first programming course is likely to determine the student's approach to program design, program analysis, and programming methodology, the choice of the programming language used in the first programming course is likely to be very important. In this paper, we report on a recent survey we conducted on programming language use in US academic institutions, and discuss the significance of our data by comparison with programming language use in industry.
The article presents the results of an experiment in which Excel applications that depict rotatable and sizable orthographic projection of simple 3D figures with face overlapping were developed with thirty gymnasium (high school) students of age 17-19 as an introduction to 3D computer graphics. A questionnaire survey was conducted to find out whether the students acquired the principles of the projection, found the lessons interesting and contributing to their technological knowledge, and found the topic motivating enough to continue with more complicated models. The results are discussed.
The Testing Algorithmic and Application Skills (TAaAS) project was launched in the 2011/2012 academic year to test first year students of Informatics, focusing on their algorithmic skills in traditional and non-traditional programming environments, and on the transference of their knowledge of Informatics from secondary to tertiary education. The results of the tests clearly show that students start their studies in Informatics with underdeveloped algorithmic skills, only a very few of them reaching the level of extended abstract. To find reasons for these figures we have analyzed the students' problem solving approaches. It was found that the students, almost exclusively, only consider traditional programming environments appropriate for developing computational thinking, algorithmic skills. Furthermore, they do not apply concept and algorithmic based methods in non-traditional computer related activities, and as such, mainly carry out ineffective surface approach methods, as practiced in primary and secondary education. This would explain the gap between the expectations of tertiary education, the students' results in the school leaving exams, and their overestimation of their knowledge, all of which lead to the extremely high attrition rates in Informatics.
The paper presents the results of an evaluation of the Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Organisational Intelligence (OI) competences self-assessment tools developed and applied by the IGUANA1 project. In the paper Emotional Intelligence and Organisational Intelligence competences are discussed, their use in action research experiments to assess and support the development of innovation in schools is presented, together with the results of these experiments. The paper also discusses how innovation support in schools was linked to a ’Theory of Change’ approach in the IGUANA project and applied to support innovation plans developed by Portuguese and Lithuanian schools. Finally, the results of the use of the Theory of Change approach are discussed.
The role of mobile technology has significantly increased and been emphasized in English education. However, research investigating EFL teachers' attitudes and behaviors related to mobile technology has been limited in descriptive aspects of the technology, leading to misunderstandings about EFL teachers' needs. Furthermore, many prior studies have examined various aspects of electronic learning (e-learning) and technological developments of mobile learning (m-learning) in English education from the learners' perspective. Therefore, this study proposed a research model that empirically examines behaviors of EFL teacher's' m-learning acceptance by using Fred Davis's Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as the research framework. As external variables, this research model includes instant connectivity, compatibility, interaction, content enrichment, and computer self-efficacy, influencing the perceived usefulness of TAM. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) with the data of 189 EFL teachers was used to analyze causal relationships between external variables and TAM variables. The results provide evidence that supports the tested hypotheses. The implications of the findings suggest a new direction for future studies on m-learning.
Despite the fact that digital technologies are more and more used in the learning and education process, there is still lack of professional evaluation tools capable of assessing the quality of used digital teaching aids in a comprehensive and objective manner. Construction of the Comprehensive Evaluation of Electronic Learning Tools and Educational Software (CEELTES) tool was preceded by several surveys and knowledge obtained in the course of creation of digital learning and teaching aids and implementation thereof in the teaching process. The evaluation tool as such consists of sets (catalogues) of criteria divided into four separately assessed areas - the area of technical, technological and user attributes; the area of criteria evaluating the content, operation, information structuring and processing; the area of criteria evaluating the information processing in terms of learning, recognition, and education needs; and, finally, the area of criteria evaluating the psychological and pedagogical aspects of a digital product. The specified areas are assessed independently, separately, by a specialist in the given science discipline. The final evaluation of the assessed digital product objectifies (quantifies) the overall rate of appropriateness of inclusion of a particular digital teaching aid in the teaching process.
We present some results of an ongoing research project where university engineering students were asked to construct videogames involving the use of physical systems models. The objective is to help them identify and understand the elements and concepts involved in the modelling process. That is, we use game design as a constructionist approach for promoting a modelling activity and the learning of the elements involved. In this paper, we focus on the case studies of two students, in their last year of studies, who built a videogame where they had to model liquid water behaviour while working within the restrictions of the game engine. By analysing students' written work and group discussions, we observed that students, through this videogame-building task, were able to deepen and refine how they conceive the process of mathematical modelling, in a fun and engaging way in which they were receptive and open to experimentation, and learned from other students, as well as from making mistakes.
Nowadays, the use of information technology (ICT) in education is nothing new. But the question is where the limit is when the use of ICT does not have the desired effect.
In the paper we discuss the use of simulations in the teaching process that can positively influence students' achievements. At the beginning of the paper we present the results of a research aimed at exploring the impact of the use of computer simulations on secondary school students' understanding of oscillatory motion. The aim of the research was to explore the effect of the use of simulations on students' abilities to work with graphs and to find out relevant information. In the conclusion, the possibilities of integration of simulations into the teaching process are discussed.
Since pair programming appeared in the literature as an effective method of teaching computer programming, many systems were developed to cover the application of pair programming over distance. Today's systems serve personal, professional and educational purposes allowing distributed teams to work together on the same programming project. The current research focuses in distributed pair programming systems which are suitable for supporting students in learning computer programming. Systematic review of publicly available systems revealed that there is an absence of effective collaboration support for the students. The main drawbacks of pair programming, such as uneven workload distribution and infrequent role switches, cannot be addressed with available systems. While building an enhanced version of a distributed pair programming system, successful instructional strategies in similar collaborative learning systems were explored, in order to improve students' interactions when applying pair programming over distance. As a result, the new system allows students to practice distributed pair programming in the form of collaboration scripts. This paper presents the features and the underlying concepts of the system, and the results of its first evaluation. The study showed that distributed pair programming attracted positive feedback from students, and that scripted collaboration affected students' engagement in programming, and resulted in an evenly distribution of learning objectives among pairs.