University of Cádiz (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 4692-4696
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2130
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The computer science department at the University of Cádiz teaches introductory computer programming in 24 degrees between the offers made for this University. At the end of the academic period, the student is expected to be capable of encoding low or medium difficulty programs and even to understand the basic concepts of structured and modular programming. Thousands of students start the course without a previous programming experience and there is an important number of students that face to the subject with afraid and tend to leave the course [1]. In this work, we show the results of the methodology followed during 6 years in the subject of 'Informática II', in the mathematics degree, in order to improve the interest of the students using an active participation, and consequently, increasing the number of the students that will finish successfully the course [2], [3].

A methodology has been used to improve the results of students that encourages to do practical exercises and learn faster. In this way, the motivation of student is increased and the withdrawal is avoided. This methodology includes lectures and practical sessions, consisting of suggesting a problem that the students must submit 15 minutes before the end of the session in conjunction with a test of questions via web [4], [5] about the proposed problem. At the end of the practical session, the solution of the problem is provided towards the students can compare their solutions with the solutions of the teachers. These problems are related to the content of another subjects at the same course to achieve the students are familiar with the problem to be solved. Additionally, they can request a research problem that they must finish before the end of the course in order to apply all the contents of the subject. This problem will help to increase the final qualification.

The assessment of the subject takes into account the proposed methodology including a score if the student attended the 90% of the practical sessions and passed the proposed problems and tests.

During the six years under review only in the last two years the proposed methodology has been applied obtaining better results as number of presented students as passing students.

[1] I. J. T. Domínguez, I. L. Galiana, M. J. M. Cobos, G. Barcena-González, D. Sastre, J. A. M. López, J. J. R. Aguilar, D. J. M. Baladés, F. J. F. Blázquez, P. Á. Gómez, F. J. G. Gallero, F. L. Iborra, G. Triviño, L. M. F. Ramírez, F. J. T. Espinosa, M. L. M. Rodríguez, R. Maestre, G. G. Siles, and P. R. C. Fernández, “Aplicaciones de la Programación como Herramienta en la Ingeniería : Diagnóstico y Mejora Docente en la Escuela Politécnica Superior de,” pp. 2011–2013, 2012.
[2] R. Boyle and T. Jenkins, “University of Leeds School of Computer Studies. Generating Motivation in New Students of IT ‡ by,” no. June, pp. 27–30, 1996.
[3] T. Jenkins, “School of Computer Studies Research Report Series A Participative Approach to Teaching Programming,” no. April, 1998.
[4] G. Gibbs, Problems and course design strategies. Polytechnics & Colleges Funding Council, 1992.
[5] G. Dall’Alba, “The role of teaching in higher education: Enabling students to enter a field of study and practice,” Learn. Instr., vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 299–313, 1994.
Teaching programming, participative, diagnosis, computer science.