Could you help me to change the variables ? Comparing instruction to encouragement for teaching programming

Abstract. Computer programming has become an important skill and it can be taught from early school years. Previous research has developed and evaluated several visual programming tools that are suitable for computer education in schools. However, little is known about how pedagogic styles affect student attitudes towards learning computer programming. This paper reports on a preliminary study on the influence of alternative teaching styles on student’s enjoyment and attitude towards computing. Two groups of twelve students each were asked to revise a computer game. The traditional instruction group was provided with detailed information, while the encouragement group was asked to help the teacher to change the variables of the game. The results indicate that an encouraging pedagogic style promotes more positive attitudes towards computer programming and more self-confidence than traditional instruction. Further research should repeat the experiment across several weeks for more programming concepts and should also assess the cognitive benefits.

Direct Link