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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Quinn Burke

The purpose of this article is to review and discuss the varied ways computer programming is introduced to schools and families as a new form of learning. The paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to review and discuss the varied ways computer programming is introduced to schools and families as a new form of learning. The paper examines the rhetoric around coding within academic journals and popular media articles over the past three decades. This article argues that despite the best intentions of media researchers and enthusiasts, if the rhetoric around computer science (CS) in all K-12 schools is to become a reality, there first needs to be a greater focus on monitoring such rhetoric and better understanding exactly how programming is presented to the wider public.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper represents an analysis of 67 peer-reviewed books and journal articles as well as news articles and editorials related to students’ learning (or needing to learn) computer programming on the K-12 level. In terms of criteria for inclusion, in addition to publication date and article readership, there were three considerations: the article needed to focus on CS on the K-12 grade levels; the article needed to focus on introductory computer programming initiatives, rather than more advanced courses/topics); the article needed to specifically focus on school-based learning environments.

Findings

Findings point to three distinct ways in which introductory coding initiatives have been portrayed (and been perceived): new literacy, “grounded” math and technical skill. Ultimately, the paper does not propose a single defining metaphor. Rather it argues that the metaphors one selects matter considerably in determining programming’s future in entering (or not entering) schools, and that educators need to make a conscientious effort to consider multiple metaphors without choosing just one.

Research limitations/implications

In terms of research limitations, the article does not purport to be an exhaustive analysis of all the metaphors that have been used to introduce CS to K-12 schools over the past 30 years. Rather it only identifies the leading metaphors from the literature, and in doing so, makes an important first step in examining the role of metaphor in the presentation of CS as a “new” course of study.

Practical implications

The article is intended for educators, researchers and administrators to gain a better understanding of what CS is (and could be) for K-12 schooling.

Social implications

The article is intended for educators, researchers and administrators to likewise understand how they, themselves, can present CS to students and families as a potential course of study.

Originality/value

There is currently considerable discussion about teaching CS in all US high schools, middle schools and even elementary schools. There is however little examination of past attempts to bring CS into K-12 schools and what these attempts may inform current advocacy.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2021

Mücahit Öztürk

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of self-regulated programming learning on undergraduate students’ academic performance and motivation compared to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of self-regulated programming learning on undergraduate students’ academic performance and motivation compared to traditional methods.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was conducted with an explanatory sequential mixed method. Participants consist of 31 undergraduate students studying in the department of computer and instructional technologies education. The students were separated into two groups as experimental (n = 15) and control (n = 16) in the robotic programming course. Academic performance tests, programming motivation scale and interview form were used as data collection tools. After collecting quantitative data, interviews were conducted with the students regarding their academic performance and motivation.

Findings

The results indicated that the self-regulated programming learning process can contribute positively to students’ academic performance and motivation compared to traditional methods. Students stated that self-regulated learning strategies can positively affect their academic performance and motivation.

Originality/value

In this study, a self-regulated learning support system was designed to encourage students to use self-regulated learning strategies. This study has the potential to contribute to the gap in the literature, especially as a study of adapting the phased model of self-regulated learning to programming teaching. Instructors can use the self-regulating programming learning framework by adapting it to different disciplines.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Michael Mateas

Seeks to argue that procedural literacy, of which programming is a part, is critically important for new media scholars and practitioners and that its opposite, procedural

Abstract

Purpose

Seeks to argue that procedural literacy, of which programming is a part, is critically important for new media scholars and practitioners and that its opposite, procedural illiteracy, leaves one fundamentally unable to grapple with the essence of computational media.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper looks at one of the earliest historical calls for universal procedural literacy, explores how games can serve as an ideal object around which to organize a procedural literacy curriculum, and describes a graduate course developed at Georgia Tech, Computation as an Expressive Medium, designed to be a first course in procedural literacy for new media practitioners.

Findings

To achieve a broader and more profound procedural literacy will require developing an extended curriculum that starts in elementary school and continues through college. Encountering procedurality for the first time in a graduate level course is like a first language course in which students are asked to learn the grammar and vocabulary, read and comment on literature, and write short stories, all in one semester; one's own students would certainly agree that this is a challenging proposition.

Originality/value

New media scholars and practitioners, including game designers and game studies scholars, may assume that the “mere” technical details of code can be safely bracketed out of the consideration of the artifact. Contrary to this view, it is argued that procedural literacy, of which programming is a part, is critically important for new media scholars and practitioners and that its opposite, procedural illiteracy, leaves one fundamentally unable to grapple with the essence of computational media.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1980

John Eyre

Beginning with a detailed analysis of 24 published surveys and programmes of library and information science curricula from 1969–1975, the article discusses the…

Abstract

Beginning with a detailed analysis of 24 published surveys and programmes of library and information science curricula from 1969–1975, the article discusses the professional continuity in changing courses. A particular problem is maintaining the identity of ‘core studies’ in professional curricula. The content and objectives of computer courses are listed and discussed. The coverage of the author's own survey is explained. All 17 schools in the U.K., 1 in Dublin and 13 in eastern U.S.A. and Canada were visited in 1978 involving interviews with over 130 people individually or in groups. Ten schools overseas provided further data in questionnaires. The results of the survey begin by summarising the various stated objectives for computer courses. There follows a review of the structure of such courses and the views on options in this subject. Outlining the titles, content, duration and staffing, the article reviews, with supporting tables, courses for computer appreciation, programming and library automation. Separate tables and commentary cover the data from the questionnaires. In the conclusions, it is emphasised that computing is now an essential part of professional education, though how much and for whom is not yet decided. Advanced courses will soon be needed for those wishing to specialise.

Details

Program, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Deepti Mishra, Sofiya Ostrovska and Tuna Hacaloglu

Testing is one of the indispensable activities in software development and is being adopted as an independent course by software engineering (SE) departments at…

Abstract

Purpose

Testing is one of the indispensable activities in software development and is being adopted as an independent course by software engineering (SE) departments at universities worldwide. The purpose of this paper is to carry out an investigation of the performance of learners about testing, given the tendencies in the industry and motivation caused by the unavailability of similar studies in software testing field.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on the data collected over three years (between 2012 and 2014) from students taking the software testing course. The course is included in the second year of undergraduate curriculum for the bachelor of engineering (SE).

Findings

It has been observed that, from the performance perspective, automated testing outperforms structural and functional testing techniques, and that a strong correlation exists among these three approaches. Moreover, a strong programming background does help toward further success in structural and automated testing, but has no effect on functional testing. The results of different teaching styles within the course are also presented together with an analysis exploring the relationship between students’ gender and success in the software testing course, revealing that there is no difference in terms of performance between male and female students in the course. Moreover, it is advisable to introduce teaching concepts one at a time because students find it difficult to grasp the ideas otherwise.

Research limitations/implications

These findings are based on the analysis conducted using three years of data collected while teaching a course in testing. Obviously, there are some limitations to this study. For example, student’s strength in programming is calculated using the score of C programming courses taken in previous year/semester. Such scores may not reflect their current level of programming knowledge. Furthermore, attempt was made to ensure that the exercises given for different testing techniques have similar difficulty level to guarantee that the difference in success between these testing techniques is due to the inherent complexity of the technique itself and not because of different exercises. Still, there is small probability that a certain degree of change in success may be due to the difference in the difficulty levels of the exercises. As such, it is obviously premature to consider the present results as final since there is a lack of similar type of studies, with which the authors can compare the results. Therefore, more work needs to be done in different settings to draw sound conclusions in this respect.

Originality/value

Although there are few studies (see e.g. Chan et al., 2005; Garousi and Zhi, 2013; Ng et al., 2004) exploring the preference of testers over distinct software testing techniques in the industry, there appears to be no paper comparing the preferences and performances of learners in terms of different testing techniques.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1981

Arthur Meidan

Introduction Operations research, i.e. the application of scientific methodology to operational problems in the search for improved understanding and control, can be said…

Abstract

Introduction Operations research, i.e. the application of scientific methodology to operational problems in the search for improved understanding and control, can be said to have started with the application of mathematical tools to military problems of supply bombing and strategy, during the Second World War. Post‐war these tools were applied to business problems, particularly production scheduling, inventory control and physical distribution because of the acute shortages of goods and the numerical aspects of these problems.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 19 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Charles B. Owen, Laura Dillon, Alison Dobbins, Matthew Rhodes, Madeline Levinson and Noah Keppers

The purpose of this paper is to present the design and evolution of the Dancing Computer project. Dancing Computer is an ongoing research project at the Michigan State…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the design and evolution of the Dancing Computer project. Dancing Computer is an ongoing research project at the Michigan State University, which is developing a system that aims to increase computer literacy in elementary-aged children by teaching them first to read code before they write it. The main objective is to educate children on basic concepts of computer science.

Design/methodology/approach

Children are given tablet computers that present a simple program line-by-line that they execute as they pretend to be a computer. The programs are acted out on a portable dance floor consisting of colored tiles, and the program statements instruct the child to move, turn and act out dance poses and terminology.

Findings

The Dancing Computer prototype was tested in six different locations in 2016, reaching approximately 250 students. Learning was demonstrated by significant improvements in both task duration and error performance as students performed the activities. The most common errors were movement errors, where participants failed to move the correct number of squares.

Social implications

This project has the potential to increase the level of computer literacy for thousands of children. This project’s goal is to increase understanding of what a computer does, what a program does and the step-by-step nature of computer programs.

Originality/value

This is a unique and a different approach – the norm being to start students off writing code in some language. In Dancing Computer stages children as readers of programs, allowing them to pretend to be a computer in a fun and engaging activity while also learning how computers execute real programs.

Details

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-7371

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Thomas Hainey, Gavin Baxter and Amanda Ford

Rudimentary programming is an essential, transferrable, problem solving skill in many higher education (HE) programmes in academic institutions including Software…

Abstract

Purpose

Rudimentary programming is an essential, transferrable, problem solving skill in many higher education (HE) programmes in academic institutions including Software Engineering, Business Information Technology, Computer Games Development, Design and Technology. The purpose of this paper is to address some of the problematic issues associated with teaching programming by the utilisation of a new novel teaching approach called games-based construction learning (GBCL) to attempt to increase motivation, engagement and learning effectiveness. An international and national trend is to introduce coding at earlier education levels resulting in upper primary education (PE) being the focus of this paper to ascertain if GBCL using Scratch to teach programming concepts is more effective at different levels of upper PE.

Design/methodology/approach

A large-scale empirical study introducing GBCL to teach programming concepts into 16 classes between levels 4 and 7 in PE utilising 384 children. A detailed implementation framework for GBCL using Scratch in PE was utilised to address all incorporation issues and the games constructed by the children scored utilising a game codification scheme specifically designed to address programming and design as a quantification rubric. The experiment utilised eight 1- h lessons on GBCL using Scratch.

Findings

The resulted in 178 games of varying levels of complexity developed. The results indicated that GBCL was an effective mechanism to teach programming concepts using Scratch at all levels of upper PE. Primary seven students scored higher in relation to the design metric of the quantification codification rubric.

Research limitations/implications

Under the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in Scotland non-traditional teaching approaches are encouraged and development of digital literacy skill is highly advocated. This has resulted in a new approach, novel approach called GBCL where children create their own games utilising an engine such as Scratch is gaining significant attention in terms of being a novel approach. Despite a plethora of similar studies associated with GBCL, it is still not as developed as games-based learning and requires further empirical studies to support the validity of the approach and resolve identified issues.

Practical implications

Computer programming itself can lead to a highly rewarding career in a number of sectors from games development to banking, such as cybersecurity and systems development. In the last decade, in particular due to the ubiquitous nature of technology there is an increasing international and national trend associated with teaching rudimentary programming concepts at a far younger age including secondary education and the upper PE level. Introducing programming at an earlier level is now being considered essential as the path to transfer from novice to expert programmer level in time is considered nearly a decade approximately. The introduction of GBCL interventions may yield positive results in a supplementary learning capacity in accordance with the CfE and increase the educational effectiveness of programming education in later levels of education.

Originality/value

This study presents a large-scale empirical evaluation of GBCL in upper PE utilising a compiled implementation framework for incorporation and a detailed game codification scheme to quantify the games produced highlighting coding constructs and design.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Fadi P. Deek, James A. McHugh and Starr Roxanne Hiltz

This paper discusses methodology and technology to aid students learning programming. We have identified and integrated the problem solving and program development skills…

Abstract

This paper discusses methodology and technology to aid students learning programming. We have identified and integrated the problem solving and program development skills and knowledge students need to apply when programming with the cognitive activities required to accomplish these tasks. We then developed a composite methodological/software environment that supports the overall process of programming in a manner that gives appropriate weight to both language issues and problem solving. The results of a classroom evaluation of the method and the tool are then presented.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1982

John Adams and Robin Adams

Today an estimated 500,000 personal computers have been purchased by Americans who use them at home and in a variety of small business applications. (Note: We define a…

Abstract

Today an estimated 500,000 personal computers have been purchased by Americans who use them at home and in a variety of small business applications. (Note: We define a personal computer as a small, relatively inexpensive, microprocessor‐based device which can be taken out of its box, plugged in and begin working immediately, as opposed to large computers which must be permanently installed, and/or require professional programming. We exclude microprocessor‐based devices whose only function is limited to the playback of packaged games.) Many market research services believe that personal computer sales will continue to grow rapidly, perhaps as fast as a 50 percent annual growth rate for the next several years. The impact of this new interactive information technology coming into the possession of perhaps millions of people can only be guessed at at this early juncture. To us, as librarians, one of the more perceivable results of the growing wave of interest in personal computers has been the proliferation of literature addressed to the personal computer user.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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