National Cheng Kung University, Department of Engineering Science (TAIWAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 6720-6726
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The purpose of this study is to implement the variation theory in the learning material of a web-based e-learning system in order to help students clear their misconceptions about object-oriented programming and boost their learning effectiveness. Variation theory is based on the Phenomenography methodology and uses teaching modes of generalization, contrast, separation, and fusion to help students discern and explore the difference between concepts and phenomena of the real world. It has been proved useful in concept cognition and misconception correction in traditional classrooms for almost all subjects. Yet, it is still to be explored how well its effectiveness will be if used in web-based e-learning environments. This study initiates the hypothesis that implementing the variation theory in the course contexts of a web-based e-learning system for object-oriented programming should enable learners to clear confusions on various concepts, such as objects and variables, as well as objects and classes, and setups experiments to prove it. The experiments involved sixty-two freshmen of the Engineering Science Department of a university in southern Taiwan. The participants split randomly into two groups and learned how to program in object-oriented style from a web-based e-learning system; the experimental group used learning material that are complied with the variation theory, while the control group used ordinary ones that are not biased by the variation theory. The analysis of the experiment results uses descriptive statistics and the results of the independent sample T-tests to compare the learning effectiveness of the two groups. The findings indicate that the learners in the experimental group achieved better learning outcomes than their counterparts in the control group, in terms of concept comprehension, concept clarification, and, most important, misconception corrections in the object-oriented programming context.
variation theory, web-based learning, object-oriented programming, misconceptions