STUDENTS MOTIVATION FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE COMPETITION

N. Bubica1, M. Mladenovic2, I. Boljat2

1OŠ Mokošica (CROATIA)
2PMF Split (CROATIA)
In the last few years, student competitions in knowledge of certain area have become very common in elementary schools. Students can compete in one or more school subjects depending on their interest and abilities. One of the goals of every competition is to raise the motivation in learning particular area. Very often, that motivation, in great deal, depends on the teacher himself and his characteristics as well. Some subjects are very interesting and teachers have easy job in motivating them in additional work that is required so students can accomplish level of knowledge needed for competing. Subjects that are demanding and challenging for students, very often have fewer competitors than subjects that are easier.

In the Republic of Croatia, Computer Science is one of the elective subjects in elementary school therefore it has a smaller number of students involved in the teaching process. Students can compete in the knowledge of the basic concepts of Information Technology and various application programs or solving algorithms in a variety of programming languages. In the curriculum of the elective subject Computer Science, solving algorithms is represented approximately with 10% of the content, which is not enough to achieve success in this competition. The competition requires a lot of effort, creativity and perseverance of the students and his teachers.

This paper explores the motivation of students to participate in the Computer Science competition. For this purpose, a survey was conducted among 139 participants of the competition in elementary schools as a special form of non-experimental research. As the primary source of data in the study is used a personal statement about the opinions, beliefs, attitudes and behavior, obtained with the corresponding series of standardized questions. The questions are designed to test the importance which students assign to the teacher as one of the factors, and other factors that significantly affect the increase in their motivation to learn Computer Science.

At the end, the results of the survey are interpreted and provide guidance for further research.