Considerable effort has been invested in innovative practices about teaching programming. Although the usefulness of metacognition in learning process is acknowledged, evidence demonstrating how metacognitive strategies effect in the programming classrooms is still very scarce. Given the importance of metacognitive strategies, this study seeks to examine the effect of the strategies to students’ performances in programming courses. The qualitative techniques were used to determine the participants’ programming performances and explicate their experiences about the role of the strategies. The results indicated that while almost half of the students’ programming performances were multistructural the other half was prestructural and unistructural categories of Solo taxonomy. The quality of the programming problems is found to have an important role in the development of both cognitive knowledge and cognitive regulation strategies. Furthermore, the cognitive potentials and problem solving habits of the students were also found to be effective on their metacognitive development. The implications of notable findings and directions for future studies were also discussed.
Computer science concepts have an important part in other subjects and thinking computationally is being recognized as an important skill for everyone, which leads to the increasing interest in developing computational thinking (CT) as early as at the comprehensive school level. Therefore, research is needed to have a common understanding of CT skills and develop a model to describe the dimensions of CT. Through a systematic literature review, using the EBSCO Discovery Service and the ACM Digital Library search, this paper presents an overview of the dimensions of CT defined in scientific papers. A model for developing CT skills in three stages is proposed: i) defining the problem, ii) solving the problem, and iii) analyzing the solution. Those three stages consist of ten CT skills: problem formulation, abstraction, problem reformulation, decomposition, data collection and analysis, algorithmic design, parallelization and iteration, automation, generalization, and evaluation.
This paper presents results of a questionnaire focused on investigating students' confidence and behavioral intention in the area of programming, particularly that of structures, problem solving, and programming commands (Conditional - Loop). Responses from 116 1st year students regarding informatics were used. The results indicate that the engagement with programming logic yields a positive impact on students' confidence and acceptance. In addition, all the measured factors are related relatively strongly. Our findings demonstrate that students' prior direction (at Lyceum) has a significant impact on their Confidence for using Programming Commands (CPC) and Confidence for using Data Structures (CDS); however, prior direction does not have any impact on learners Problem Solving Confidence (PSC) and Behavioral Intention (BI) for programming. In the conclusion, several issues regarding the courses of programming are discussed.
For over a decade, a declarative approach to problem solving based on the use of abstract data types (ADTs) has been taught to high-school students as part of the logic programming instructional unit. We conducted a study aimed at assessing students' problem-solving processes when utilizing ADTs. The findings indicated that students' strategies that diverged from the conceptual model often cause the students to develop incorrect programs. Specifically, students have difficulties in establishing correct mapping between the problem and its abstract model - the corresponding ADT, and in establishing proper connectivity between layers of abstraction related to different stages of the problem-solving processes (e.g., between distinct programming modules). These difficulties are apparently associated with general difficulties that novices encounter when learning programming, and with the cognitive load encountered when dealing with high levels of abstraction. With the intention to reduce student difficulties, we suggest using an instructional approach designed to gradually educate the students toward attaining proficiency as ``problem solvers'' through the use of integrative knowledge and autonomous problem-solving techniques. This approach should be further evaluated regarding its feasibility and applicability to reducing students' difficulties in dealing with abstraction processes.
Computers, information and communication technology (ICT) are more and more involved in the education process. Students should learn to use information technologies (IT) in a suitable, effective way, and when learning any subject they should be capable to implement computer facilities and thus develop their learning methods. Competitions are an excellent tool to achieve these goals. Competitions play an important role as a source of inspiration and innovation - youngsters are attracted by competitions, they get easier involved in such an activity, more willingly discuss and become more active. IT contests may be a key to the potential of new knowledge and an attractive way of binding up technology and education.
Interest in competitions essentially depends on problems. Really, choosing and developing interesting tasks (problems) is one of the most important issues bringing students into competitions. Attraction, invention, tricks, surprise should be desirable features of each problem presented to competitors. The problems have to be carefully selected, taking into account the different aspects of each problem. IT competitions should encourage students to think about computer science and to understand what it can be.
Introduction to computers, learning by using ICT are the actions aimed at solution and analysis of particular problems. Before starting IT competitions, tasks must be planned very carefully and based on some theoretical analysis. The main attention is paid to develop some criteria for creating as well as selecting tasks.
The history of the Lithuanian IT competition named ''Beaver'' started on October 21, 2004. Approximately 3500 students from about 150 comprehensive schools were involved in it. Afterwards, the workshop of participants from several foreign countries was held and building of a framework of the international ``Beaver'' competition was started. The paper deals with theoretical and practical issues of developing new kinds of competition in IT in Lithuania, called ``Beaver''.