Putting the Programming Hut Online – Self Learning for the Net-generation
2015 (English)In: ECEL 2015, 14th European Conference on e-Learning ECEL-2015 Hatfield, UK, Academic Conferences Publishing , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
Programming is a core subject in most Computer science programmes at university level but research studies indicates that students face difficulties with the understanding of theoretical concepts as well as practical code construction. The Digital natives or the Net-generation are now enrolling university programmes and they are the first generation that has used computers and online tools since childhood. Programming education has a tradition of programming huts, where students in introductory programming courses get exercises to explore fundamental programming concepts with instant feedback. To provide quality feedback in the traditional form requires experienced facilitators and costly venues for today’s large course batches. At the department where this study has been conducted there exists a tradition of a weekly lab hut for general Computer science but an online environment with 24/7 access would be an enhancement. This study has explored the potential of an online environment for programming exercises in the Python programming language named MyProgrammingLab. The aim of the study is to describe and discuss how an online programming laboratory might support the learning of programming concepts in introductory university courses. The research strategy has been a case study where data has been collected by an evaluation questionnaire, informal discussions and an analysis of students’ study patterns in the virtual learning environment. Findings indicate that students have different learning styles and that some students have worked thoroughly with most of the material in MyProgrammingLab, but that the majority only have used the environment for the initial exercises on fundamental programming concepts. Some learners also mention that they got stuck in the online environment and that they lack the feedback that they can get in tradition face-to-face sessions. Conclusions are that the evaluated online environment can be a valuable extra tool for self-learning, but to reach a larger part of the course participants with their various learning styles there is a need for a closer alignment to the course content which would need a different course outline.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences Publishing , 2015.
Online learning environment, E-learning, Blended learning, Programming education, Technology enhanced learning
Research subject Computer and Systems Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122872ISBN: 978-1-910810-71-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-122872DiVA: diva2:868699